The global push to convert the world to electric vehicles will cause supply chain complexities that could undermine the alternative energy transition in the United States, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The detailed report—Need Nickel? How Electrifying Transport and Chinese Investment are... Read more →


Estonian startup UP Catalyst secures €2.09M; sustainable carbon nanomaterials and graphite from CO2

Estonian startup UP Catalyst, a company developing a method to produce sustainable carbon nanomaterials and graphite from CO2, has closed a successful pre-seed round of €500,000, in addition to €1.59 million in grant funding secured earlier this year. The pre-seed round was led by Sunly, a developer of wind and... Read more →


Start-Up MOBI LATAM partners with EnergyX to develop Bolivian domestic lithium battery supply chain

Bolivian micro-mobility and clean energy startup MOBI has partnered with American direct lithium extraction company Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. (EnergyX) (earlier post). Both companies will work towards creating a Bolivian domestic lithium battery supply chain to develop the region’s electric mobility market. Bolivia is lithium-rich; the USGS estimates identified lithium... Read more →


New company Statevolt plans $4B 54GWh gigafactory in Imperial Valley; local lithium and geothermal from Hell’s Kitchen

Lars Carlstrom, the founder-CEO of Italvolt, announced the launch of a new company, Statevolt, which will construct a 54GWh Gigafactory in Imperial Valley, southern California with an expected CapEx of $4 billion. To launch the new facility, Statevolt has also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Controlled Thermal Resources... Read more →


Adamas Intelligence forecasts global demand for NdFeB magnets to increase at CAGR of 8.6% through 2035; shortages of alloys, powders, REE expected

In its new Rare Earth Magnet Market Outlook to 2035 report, Adamas Intelligence forecasts that global demand for NdFeB magnets will increase at a CAGR of 8.6%, bolstered by double-digit growth from electric vehicle and wind power sectors. This will translate to comparable demand growth for the rare earths elements... Read more →


The Rice lab of materials scientist Ming Tang has analyzed nano- and micro-scale interactions within lithium iron phosphate cathodes through modeling and imaging offered by the transmission X-ray microscopy capabilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. Their paper, published in the journal ACS Energy Letters, supports theories Tang... Read more →


Battery startup licenses ORNL electrolyte and thin-film coating technologies

Several electrolyte and thin-film coating technologies, developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have been licensed by BTRY, a battery technology company based in Virginia, to make batteries with increased energy density, at lower cost, and with an improved safety profile in crashes. The enabling technologies, called Safe Impact Resistant Electrolytes,... Read more →


A joint research team from Tohoku University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has made a significant advance towards high-voltage metal-free lithium-ion batteries by using a small organic molecule: croconic acid. An open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Advanced Science. Unlike conventional lithium-ion batteries,... Read more →


Galp and Northvolt select Setúbal for Aurora advanced lithium conversion unit

Galp and Northvolt selected the port city of Setúbal, Portugal (southeast of Lisbon on the northern bank of the Sado River estuary) as the location for their Aurora lithium conversion plant (earlier post), which aims to become a steppingstone for the development of an integrated lithium-battery value-chain in Europe. The... Read more →


Australia-based Lithium developer Lake Resources has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ford Motor Company for the offtake of approximately 25,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of lithium from the Kachi Project. Kachi comprises 705 sq km of leases and lease applications over a brine-bearing basin 20km long, 15km... Read more →


Toyoda Gosei has developed a cellulose nanofiber (CNF)-reinforced plastic with the aim of reducing CO2 over the lifecycle of automotive components, from raw material procurement and production to recycling and disposal. Toyoda Gosei is developing materials that raise the environmental performance of its products by leveraging the features of CNF:... Read more →


Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has launched a Lithium-ion Battery Raw Material Price Index. The new index allows users to accurately track real-world movements in lithium-ion battery raw material prices relative to key cathode types within the supply chain and to track the shifting cost structure of a key component of cathode... Read more →


Bridgestone Americas is partnering with LanzaTech to address end-of-life tire waste. The two companies will co-develop the first dedicated end-of-life tire recycling process leveraging LanzaTech’s proprietary CCT (Carbon Capture and Transformation) technology, creating a pathway toward tire material circularity and the decarbonization of new tire production. According to the Tire... Read more →


Glencore and General Motors announced a multi-year sourcing agreement in which Glencore will supply GM with cobalt from its Murrin Murrin operation in Australia. Cobalt is an important metal in the production of EV batteries, and the cobalt processed from Australia will be used in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes, which... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars aims to cut vehicle CO2 emissions by 50% over lifecycle by end of this decade

At its first digital ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) Conference for investors and analysts, Mercedes-Benz announced aims to at least halve CO2 emissions per passenger car over the lifecycle by the end of this decade compared to 2020 levels. To achieve this goal, the key factors include: electrifying the vehicle... Read more →


A study by a team from The Ohio State University and Ford is providing insight into the deactivation mechanism of rhodium in three-way catalysts (TWC) for automotive emissions control. The study, which could enable more efficient usage of rhodium in TWCs, is published in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials.... Read more →


Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fibers and products converting company, has developed an eco-friendly staple polyester nanofiber that offers excellent performance to reinforce rubber uses in products including automotive tires, hoses and belts. Staple fibers—textile fibers of discrete length—are used to strengthen rubber in products required to withstand... Read more →


The BMW Group will use cast aluminum wheels produced with 100% green power for its BMW and MINI brands from 2024 onwards. For the BMW Group, this is another step towards its goal of creating the most sustainable supply chain in the automotive industry. The transition applies, in particular, to... Read more →


Australia-based Mineral Resources (MinRes), one of the largest owners of hard rock lithium units, has, in response to “unprecedented global customer demand for lithium products”, agreed with its JV partners to increase production from the Wodgina and Mt Marion spodumene mines, based in Western Australia. Spodumene is a pyroxene mineral... Read more →


The Government of Canada has released Budget 2022. Among its measures is up to C$3.8 billion (US$3 billion) to implement Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy to capitalize on a growing need for the minerals used in everything from phones to electric cars. The Budget also allocates more than $3 billion... Read more →


The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is collaborating with the US Department of Defense (DoD), the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and BioMADE to work with Ohio-based Farmed Materials in a multi-year, multi-million-dollar program to develop a domestic source of natural rubber from a specific species of dandelion. Natural rubber... Read more →


New JV in China to produce high-grade Li-ion power battery materials

Global Internet of People, Inc. (SDH), an operator of a knowledge sharing and enterprise service platform, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Zhuhai (Zibo) Investment Co., Ltd. has entered into an investment agreement with the following parties to form a joint venture dedicated to the production of high-grade lithium-ion power battery... Read more →


Battery researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed a self-standing mesoporous silicon (Si) film anode for lithium-ion batteries. This film electrode does not need carbon additives and binders to connect particles as do typical slurry-based electrodes, but it still exhibits excellent battery performance. A paper on the work... Read more →


Benchmark Gigafactories Europe paints grim raw material supply picture; “Auto OEMs will need to become miners”

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence held its inaugural Battery Megafactories Europe 2022 event in Berlin; the event zeroed in on a number of pertinent points for the continent’s EV and battery supply chain. Key takeaways from the Berlin event include: Raw materials enter the realm of impossible Even in the most optimistic... Read more →


Biden authorizes Defense Production Act to spur mining for EV battery materials

President Biden signed a directive authorizing the Defense Production Act for usage for the critical materials that go into large-capacity batteries. The President took this action under Title 3 of the DPA which provides for prioritizing and subsidizing the production domestically of key inputs that are critical to the national... Read more →


Researchers in China have developed bimetallic Bi-Sn microparticles (μ-BiSn)for use as high-performance anode materials for sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) using ether-based electrolytes. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Communications, they report that the μ-BiSn material exhibits superior electrochemical performance, such as high initial Coulombic efficiency (90.6%), good cycling... Read more →


Battrion and Jagenberg Group partner to advance Aligned Graphite Technology for fast-charging EV cells

Swiss battery Technology pioneer Battrion AG has teamed up with German roll-to-roll production specialist Jagenberg Converting Solution GmbH to supply anode pilot and GWh-production lines utilizing Battrion’s Aligned Graphite Technology for the lithium-ion battery industry. Aligned Graphite Technology improves the performance of the negative electrode in a lithium-ion battery by... Read more →


US-based graphite processor Urbix expands to UK

Urbix Inc., a US-based processor of battery-grade graphite (earlier post), has entered the first stage of its global expansion program by establishing a UK entity. Urbix UK, Ltd. will accelerate deployment of local facilities to supply UK- and European-based automakers and battery industries with Urbix’s advanced materials for anodes. The... Read more →


FPX Nickel establishes subsidiary to pursue large-scale, low-cost and permanent carbon capture and storage

FPX Nickel Corp., a Vancouver-based junior nickel mining company developing the large-scale Decar Nickel District in central British Columbia, has established a new subsidiary company, CO2 Lock Corp., to pursue opportunities in large-scale, low-cost and permanent carbon capture and storage (CCS). CO2 Lock has raised $1.7 million in a seed... Read more →


Rio Tinto has completed the acquisition of the Rincon lithium project in Argentina for $825 million, following approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). (Earlier post.) A binding agreement to purchase the project from Rincon Mining, a company owned by funds managed by the private equity group Sentient Equity... Read more →


An EIT RawMaterials-supported vanadium recovery joint venture in Finland between two Australian project development companies—Critical Metals Ltd and Neometals Ltd—plans to increase high-purity vanadium production in Europe for use in grid-scale vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs), specialty steel applications and next-generation lithium vanadium cells. The Vanadium Recovery Project (VRP) is... Read more →


ResponsibleSteel has awarded its first certification to a steelmaking site in Latin America: ArcelorMittal Tubarão. ArcelorMittal Tubarão is the third-largest Brazilian producer of rolled flat steels. The company manufactures flat steel products—primarily hot-rolled plates and coils—for both domestic and international markets. ArcelorMittal Tubarão Launched in 2015, ResponsibleSteel sets global standards... Read more →


Vale Canada to supply Northvolt with low-carbon nickel products for batteries

Vale Canada and lithium-ion cell producer Northvolt AB announced a multi-year agreement for Vale to supply low-carbon nickel products to Northvolt, reinforcing the companies’ shared commitment to sustainability in the electric vehicle supply chain and electrification of the broader mining industry. Vale is the world’s largest producer of nickel. The... Read more →


One of the more promising candidates for batteries beyond the current standard of lithium-ion materials is the sodium-ion (Na-ion) battery. Na-ion is particularly attractive because of the greater abundance and lower cost of sodium compared with lithium. In addition, when cycled at high voltage (4.5 V), a sodium-ion battery can... Read more →


Toyochem Co., Ltd., the polymers and coatings arm of Japan’s Toyo Ink Group, launched a new low-odor, low-VOC acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA), the Oribain EXK 21-046, for use in enclosed spaces such as vehicles and building interiors. EXK 21-046 PSAs not only demonstrate good bonds to metals, plastics, textiles and... Read more →


International Lithium Association (ILiA) commissions TDi Sustainability to examine ESG and standards in the lithium industry

The International Lithium Association (ILiA), the not-for-profit industry association representing the global lithium value chain, announced a wide-ranging agreement with TDi Sustainability to explore standards and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in the lithium industry. The transition to lower-carbon transport and power will require a vast quantity of lithium... Read more →


Graphex Group to build graphite processing facility in Warren, Michigan

Graphex Technologies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Graphex Group Limited, announced that, as part of its previously announced collaboration with Emerald Energy Solutions LLC (EES), the Emerald Business Park (EBP) in the City of Warren has been selected for the future site of a new 150,000 square-foot graphite processing... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group and Salzgitter AG—which have been partners for more than 60 years—signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which Volkswagen will become one of the first customers for the low-CO2 steel that Salzgitter AG plans to produce on a new production route at its headquarters in Lower Saxony from... Read more →


Sodium-ion battery cathode material company Altris secures €9.6 million in Series A funding

Uppsala-based sodium-ion battery company Altris AB (earlier post) raised €9.6 million in a Series A funding round. The funding secures Altris’ production scale-up of the company’s innovative battery cathode material, Fennac, to 2,000 tonnes, enabling 1 GWh of sustainable batteries and further research and development of sodium-ion batteries to take... Read more →


BASF has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Zhejiang REEF Technology Co., Ltd. to develop state-of-the-art recyclate formulations for applications used in the automotive, packaging and consumer industries. The plastics industry is seeking ways to incorporate higher content of recycled polymeric material in all major applications to meet sustainability goals,... Read more →


ArcelorMittal investing €300M in Mardyck, France, to produce electrical steels for industry and electromobility

ArcelorMittal will invest more than €300m, with the support of the French government, to create a new production unit for electrical steels at its Mardyck site in the north of France. This investment will create more than 100 direct jobs. With this new unit, which will specialize in the production... Read more →


Saudi Aramco joins Rice University’s Carbon Hub; coproduction of hydrogen and advanced carbon materials from hydrocarbons

The Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco) has joined Carbon Hub, a research initiative led by Rice University to develop sustainable uses of hydrocarbons. Launched in 2019, Carbon Hub supports a zero-emissions future where clean hydrogen energy and advanced carbon materials are coproduced efficiently and sustainably from hydrocarbons. Aramco has joined... Read more →


Researchers from Ames Laboratory and Texas A&M University have trained a machine-learning (ML) model to assess the stability of new rare-earth compounds. The framework they developed builds on current state-of-the-art methods for experimenting with compounds and understanding chemical instabilities. A paper on their work is published in Acta Materialia. Machine... Read more →


Volkswagen Group joins the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)

The Volkswagen Group has joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), an alliance of enterprises, mining companies and non-profit organizations developing standards for responsible extraction of raw materials in mining. These standards cover a range of issues, including working health and safety and environmental protection. With its electrification strategy,... Read more →


Rock Tech Lithium to collaborate with Fraunhofer Institute and Circulor to pursue CO2-neutral lithium

Canada-based Rock Tech Lithium will collaborate with the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT and Circulor, the UK-based sustainable supply chain traceability provider, to achieve comprehensive CO2 transparency of Rock Tech’s lithium value chain—from the raw material, spodumene, to the end product, lithium hydroxide. Rock Tech, which... Read more →


Evonik, as part of the VESTARO GmbH consortium of companies working to produce lighter and more cost-effective solutions for battery electric vehicles (BEV), has developed a new generation of battery packs, the “Pure Performance Battery” (PBB). Based on Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) technology made using Evonik’s curing agents, the new... Read more →


In 2021, coal exports from the United States increased by 23% to 85 million metric short tons (MMst) from 69 MMst in 2020, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Steam coal exports increased by 47% to 40 MMst, and metallurgical coal exports increased by 8% to 45 MMst.... Read more →


Genomatica and Asahi Kasei partner on renewably-sourced nylon 6,6 for automotive

Sustainable materials leader Genomatica and Japan-based diversified global manufacturer Asahi Kasei announced a strategic partnership to commercialize renewably-sourced nylon 6,61 made from Genomatica’s bio-based HMD (hexamethylenediamine, also abbreviated as HMDA) building block. Asahi Kasei looks to this partnership to support its goal to be first-to-market with a more sustainable nylon... Read more →


Rio Tinto offers $2.7B cash to buy Turquoise Hill stake in Oyu Tolgoi copper mine

Rio Tinto has made a non-binding proposal to the Turquoise Hill Board to acquire the approximately 49% of the issued and outstanding shares of Turquoise Hill that Rio Tinto does not currently own for approximately $2.7 billion in cash. The proposal follows the comprehensive agreement reached in January between Rio... Read more →


The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) will support Canadian mineral exploration and development company Mkango Resources Ltd.with securing financing for the development of a rare earth separation plant to be located in Puławy, Poland. This plant will be supplied with rare earth carbonate originating from Mkango’s Songwe Hill primary deposit... Read more →