Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) has fine-tuned its carbon fiber RTM (resin transfer molding) (CF-RTM) process to the point that a premium automaker will be using the technology for closures on future vehicle platforms. These doors will feature both inner and outer panels as well as structural reinforcements molded using CSP’s... Read more →


E-magy, a Dutch cleantech scale-up, has developed a technology platform for nanoporous silicon that can significantly boost the performance of next-generation lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). E-magy’s low-cost process manufactures structured silicon particles with nano-scale pores that do not swell and break. As a result, batteries enjoy 40% higher... Read more →


UH, Toyota researchers develop new cathode and electrolyte for high-power Mg battery rivaling Li-ion

Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) report in Nature Energy that they have developed a new cathode and electrolyte—previously the limiting factors for a high-energy magnesium battery—to demonstrate a magnesium battery capable of operating at room temperature and delivering a power... Read more →


While cobalt prices have shown positive signs of late, there are nuances within the market which highlight the key fundamentals that will likely decide cobalt’s future price trend—which is taking its cues less and less from the industrial metal supply chain, according to a new report from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.... Read more →


The Product Development group at ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks (AMTB) has developed a novel floor ring which integrates battery and occupant protection in battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The concept enables OEMs to integrate BEV powertrains in existing body architectures for internal combustion engine (ICE) models. The floor ring concept integrates passenger... Read more →


Global automotive Tier 1 manufacturer Motherson Group is collaborating with Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials. The companies are joining efforts to implement the carbon-negative UBQ thermoplastic (earlier post) into auto parts manufactured by Motherson Group for the automotive industry. UBQ is a patented material converted from 100% unsorted household waste,... Read more →


Despite the trend toward transportation electrification, the lithium industry has had a rough few years. In its new Lithium Outlook to 2030 report, Roskill notes that the prolonged downward trend for lithium compound and mineral concentrate prices has caused a difficult environment for many lithium producers since 2018. In 2019,... Read more →


EGC enters trading agreement with Trafigura with the aim to transform the ASM cobalt mining sector in DRC

Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) signed a trading agreement with Trafigura Pte Ltd. The trading agreement includes the provision of finance by Trafigura to fund the creation of strictly controlled artisanal mining zones, the installation of ore purchasing stations and costs related to the transparent and traceable delivery of cobalt... Read more →


Italy-based global energy infrastructure operator Snam signed an agreement with funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities for the purchase of a strategic stake of approximately 33% in Industrie De Nora S.p.A., a global supplier of clean energy and water treatment technologies, based on a 100% enterprise value of approximately €1.2... Read more →


Volkswagen joins “Cobalt for Development” initiative

Volkswagen says that it is actively engaging in improving artisanal cobalt mining conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as the living conditions for people in the surrounding communities. Cobalt is an important raw material for the production of electric vehicle batteries. Artisanal mining involves risks to... Read more →


DOE announces $16M for 17 Phase 1 projects in ultra-high temperature materials program; ARPA-E ULTIMATE

The US Department of Energy announced $16 million in funding for 17 projects as part of Phase 1 of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Ultrahigh Temperature Impervious Materials Advancing Turbine Efficiency (ULTIMATE) program. ULTIMATE teams will develop ultrahigh temperature materials for gas turbine use in the aviation and power... Read more →


Gruppo Maip, Eastman partner on sustainable polymer automotive materials; bio-based and recycled

Eastman and Gruppo Maip, a leading international plastics formulator and compound producer based in Turin, Italy, will partner to formulate new sustainable polymer solutions for automotive interior applications. This will enable an exclusive portfolio of formulations based on Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling technology, offering a range of both bio-based and... Read more →


IAV and Louisenthal, a technology leader in the production of security foils and papers for banknotes, have developed an energy-efficient heating concept for electric vehicles that requires considerably less energy while increasing comfort for drivers and passengers. This increases cruising range by up to 6%. At the heart of the... Read more →


BASF has officially broken ground for its new cathode active materials (CAM) production plant in Schwarzheide, Germany. The new plant is part of BASF’s multi-step investment plan in the European battery materials market and will use precursors (PCAM) from the company’s previously announced plant in Harjavalta, Finland. Construction started in... Read more →


The Mercedes-Benz electric offensive is a key component of its “Ambition2039” strategic focus and a prerequisite on the way to carbon neutrality. Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of human rights and of the environment, all the... Read more →


Nature editorial calls for reduction in cobalt in transportation electrification to address scarcity

An editorial in the journal Nature says that the reduction and elimination of cobalt in EV batteries must remain a pressing need to continue to address its scarcity. Cobalt is currently the most expensive component used in mainstream passenger EV batteries due to its limited availability. The supply of Co... Read more →


A team from metals research institute SWERIM in Sweden reports on a smelting reduction process to recover cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium simultaneously from spent Li-ion batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. The proposed pyrometallurgical process is believed to be economical and... Read more →


A team from Shandong University of Technology in China has proposed a new process to recycle anode materials from spent lithium-ion batteries and to reuse the graphite. The graphite and copper foil of the anode are separated by an electrochemical method: copper foil coated graphite is the negative electrode, the... Read more →


Wood Mackenzie: $1 trillion needed for key energy transition metals by 2035

More than $1 trillion of investment will be needed in key energy transition metals—aluminum, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium—over the next 15 years just to meet the growing demands of decarbonization, according to global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. This is almost double the figure invested over the previous... Read more →


In Japan, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and JFE Steel Corporation have built a medium-scale ferro coke production facility with a daily production capacity of 300 tons and begun demonstration testing. The goal is to develop ferro coke production technology that reduces both energy consumption and... Read more →


Roskill: Cobalt demand to grow steadily over the next decade

Despite the COVID headwinds from the aviation sector and the trend towards thrifting cobalt out of automotive applications, Roskill’s newly-released cobalt report forecasts a steady demand growth for the metal to 2030. Largely benefitting from its stability, hardness, anti-corrosion and high-temperature resistance characteristics, cobalt metal and its compounds are widely... Read more →


BASF markets new Licity anode binders for Li-ion batteries

BASF has developed a new anode binder series for Li-ion battery manufacturing. The new Licity binders combine improved battery performance with sustainability features. BASF’s Licity product range for lithium-ion battery binders are suitable for pure graphite as well as silicon-containing anodes. Licity lithium-ion battery binders help to prevent electrode swelling,... Read more →


While there has been much publicity and technical development towards rare-earth reduction in vehicle motors, in practice the market is seeing an increase in the number of permanent magnet motors. The new IDTechEx report “Materials for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030” finds that in recent years, there has been an increased shift... Read more →


SEAT highlights Ku-Fizz foam and Oryzite rice husk project for more sustainable materials

SEAT held the second edition of its Innovation Day—an event focused on identifying and encouraging the spirit of innovation among the company’s own employees. Among the ideas, visions and projects presented by SEAT during the event is Ku-Fizz, a physical foam technology that reduces the weight of plastic parts, improving... Read more →


“Cobalt for Development” project started trainings for mining cooperatives in DRC

The cross-industry initiative “Cobalt for Development” has started trainings for twelve artisanal mining cooperatives in October in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). The trainings cover major environmental, social and governance aspects for responsible mining practices. This includes mine site management and legal compliance, human rights, health and safety... Read more →


Vale completes first sale of iron ore using blockchain technology with Nanjing Iron & Steel

In September, Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, completed its first sale of iron ore using blockchain technology with Nanjing Iron & Steel Group International Trade Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Nanjing Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. (NISCO) for a cargo of 176,000 tons of Brazilian Blend Fines... Read more →


Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, added a new GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) production line at its Bishop, Texas manufacturing facility to support the significant growth in its high-value GUR engineered materials portfolio. GUR UHMW-PE microporous membranes have multiple applications as separators in lithium-ion batteries,... Read more →


Teijin has joined the AZL Partner Network for Lightweight Production Technology, a cross-industry network for joint business development and technology development organized by service and engineering provider AZL Aachen GmbH and involving nine institutes and some 80 companies in the field of lightweight production. The network is launching one of... Read more →


Milestone in the strategic cooperation of Neste, Borealis and Covestro for the use of alternative raw materials

As part of a strategic collaboration, Covestro received a first delivery of 1,000 tons of renewable phenol from Borealis, produced with renewable hydrocarbons from Neste. Neste produces these ISCC Plus certified hydrocarbons (ISCC: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) entirely from renewable raw materials. The hydrocarbons are then converted into ISCC... Read more →


State-owned Indonesia Battery Holding to help build integrated EV industry in Indonesia; role of nickel

In Indonesia, state miners MIND ID (Mining Industry Indonesia) and Aneka Tambang (ANTAM); state utility Perusahan Listrik Negara (PLN); and state oil company Pertamina have agreed to form a new venture: Indonesia Battery Holding. Indonesia Battery aims to be involved in the whole battery value chain, including producing battery minerals... Read more →


The Government of Canada is awarding $1.2 million to GreenNano Technologies Inc. (GNT), a company based in Toronto, to scale up production of a new lightweight wood-fiber–based composite material to create automotive parts using an innovative process. Cam covers made at GNT. The project will combine wood pulp with polymers... Read more →


In an entirely new approach to making lithium-ion batteries lighter, safer and more efficient, scientists at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have reengineered one of the heaviest battery components—sheets of copper or aluminum foil known as current collectors—so they weigh 80% less and immediately... Read more →


Monash University engineers have demonstrated improvements in the fatigue life of high-strength aluminum alloys by 25 times—a significant outcome for the transport manufacturing industry. In an open-access paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers reported that the poor fatigue performance of high-strength aluminum alloys was because of weak links called... Read more →


DOE Critical Materials Institute selects four projects to support critical materials supply chain innovation

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Critical Materials Institute (CMI) announced selections totaling up to $4 million for four research and development projects to partner with industry to address challenges in establishing domestic supply chains for critical materials. Critical materials are used in many products important to the US economy... Read more →


ArcelorMittal Europe provided some details of the CO2 technology strategy that will enable it to offer its first green steel solutions to customers this year (30,000 tonnes); scale up this offering in coming years (to reach 120,000 tonnes in 2021 and 600,000 tonnes by 2022); deliver its 30% CO2 emissions... Read more →


Ford has selected ArcelorMittal’s Fortiform 980 GI (earlier post) as the sole source of third-generation advanced high-strength steel (Gen 3/HF) for the revitalized 2021 Ford Bronco. This highly anticipated vehicle will be the first automobile in the world to incorporate this grade of steel, which is made at AM/NS Calvert... Read more →


PNNL team uses ShAPE to increase conductivity of copper wire by ~5%; graphene composite

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have increased the conductivity of copper wire by about 5%—a development that can increase motor efficiency. Higher conductivity also means that less copper is needed for the same efficiency, which can reduce the weight and volume of various components for EVs. Using a... Read more →


Researchers from China, Taiwan and the US report developing a 2D black phosphorus composite anode that supports a high charging rate without sacrificing capacity and cycling stability. Their paper is published in the journal Science. To be competitive with 5-min refuel time for conventional combustion engine vehicles, all-electric road vehicles... Read more →


DOE awards $1.95M for conceptual designs that extract critical minerals and rare earth elements from coal sources

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95 million in federal funding to develop conceptual designs of commercially viable technologies that will extract rare earth elements (REEs) from US coal and coal by-product sources. Each project will receive up to $150,000... Read more →


Developing lithium from the Salton Sea in California can help anchor a multi-billion dollar domestic electric vehicle battery supply chain and inject thousands of jobs and billions of dollars into California’s economically disadvantaged Imperial Valley, according to a new report from New Energy Nexus. The report, Building Lithium Valley: Opportunities... Read more →


As the global energy market shifts from coal, petroleum fuel, and natural gas to more environmentally friendly primary energy sources, hydrogen is becoming a crucial pillar in the clean energy movement. Developing safe and cost-effective storage and transportation methods for hydrogen is essential but complicated given the interaction of hydrogen... Read more →


With demand for lithium set to increase over the next decade, Roskill has calculated, using its in-house analysis, that CO2 emissions from lithium production are set to triple by 2025 versus current levels and to grow by a factor of six by 2030, with the vast majority of this coming... Read more →


Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have demonstrated that noble metal atoms may assemble to form clusters under certain conditions. These clusters are more reactive than the single atoms and, hence, exhaust gases can be much better removed. The results are reported in Nature Catalysis. Noble metal catalysts... Read more →


Jervois Mining Limited will acquire 100% of the Sao Miguel Paulista nickel and cobalt refinery (SMP Refinery) in the Brazilian State of Sao Paulo from Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) (an investee company of Votorantim, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Latin America). SMP Refinery has annual refined production... Read more →


BASF now has the worldwide distribution rights for RheoFalt smart additives to modify asphalt and bitumen manufactured by the Netherlands-based company Ventraco. Excluded from the agreement are Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, where Ventraco will continue to supply the products. RheoFalt HP-AM, a powerful rejuvenator, enables 100% recycling of old... Read more →


Teijin Limited is now introducing its mobility technologies and products to enterprise customers via Teijin Mobility Online. The site will enable customers and the company to stimulate creativities and explore innovation opportunities responding to the new normal lifestyle. Main exhibits include: The Teijin Group’s “PU_PA III” EV concept car. The... Read more →


California Governor signs bill creating commission on lithium extraction in California

California Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed Assembly Bill 1657, which will create a Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California. The commission will comprise 14 members appointed by a combination of the California Energy Commission, other state agencies, Assembly Speaker, and Senate Committee on Rules. The Blue Ribbon... Read more →


President Trump declares US critical mineral supply chain a national emergency

US President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order declaring a “national emergency” to deal with the threat to US security, foreign policy and economy from its “undue reliance” on supplies of critical minerals from “foreign adversaries”—specifically China. Though these minerals are indispensable to our country, we presently lack the capacity... Read more →


EC launches European Raw Materials Alliance; initial focus on rare earth and magnet value chains

The European Commission has launched the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) as part of an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials. Initial focus will be rare earth and magnet value chains before extending to other raw materials required for Europe's green and digital transitions. ERMA will be managed by EIT... Read more →


Jaguar Land Rover will use plastic waste in next-generation sustainable luxury interiors

Jaguar Land Rover is working with ECONYL nylon to develop high-quality interiors made from ocean and landfill waste. Next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with ECONYL fiber from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and... Read more →