Orocobre Limited and Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. (EnergyX) have entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) on working together on implementation of direct lithium extraction (DLE) technologies in promoting sustainable development and innovation in the lithium mining sector. Rising demand across the world for electric vehicles and a more efficient... Read more →


Scientists from Idaho National Laboratory and the University of California San Diego have shown that slow, low-energy charging causes lithium atoms to deposit on electrodes in a disorganized way that improves charging behavior. This noncrystalline, amorphous, “glassy” lithium had never been observed, and creating such amorphous metals has traditionally been... Read more →


Rio Tinto has approved an additional investment of almost $200 million to progress the next stage of the development of the lithium-borate Jadar project in Serbia. This will primarily fund the feasibility study, including the completion of detailed engineering designs, as well as permitting and land acquisition by the end... Read more →


Although intermetallic alloys potentially have high strength in a high-temperature environment, they generally suffer poor ductility at ambient and low temperatures, hence limiting their applications in aerospace and other engineering fields. Now, researchers led by scientists of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have discovered that adding a small amount... Read more →


Toray to supply carbon fiber composite materials for Lilium’s all-electric air vehicle

Toray Industries concluded an agreement with Lilium GmbH to supply carbon fiber composite materials for the Lilium Jet. (Earlier post.) The Lilium Jet is a five-seater, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically and is designed to provide high-speed regional connections of up to 300km in under 60... Read more →


Scientists from ExxonMobil, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new material that could capture more than 90% of CO2 emitted from industrial sources using low-temperature steam, requiring less energy for the overall carbon capture process. Laboratory tests indicate the patent-pending materials—tetraamine-functionalized metal organic frameworks—capture... Read more →


Researchers from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the University of Texas at Austin, with colleagues at the US Army Research Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have developed a thick cobalt-free high voltage spinel (LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 (LNMO)) cathode material with high areal capacity. The paper on their work... Read more →


Global chemical company BASF and IntelliSense.io, a leading industrial artificial intelligence (AI) company, announced an exclusive partnership which will combine their expertise in mineral processing, ore beneficiation chemistry and industrial AI technology. The joint offering is called the ‘BASF Intelligent Mine powered by IntelliSense.io’ and delivers AI solutions embedded with... Read more →


Borealis, a supplier of polyolefin plastic materials for engineering applications in the automotive industry, announced the availability of Fibremod, its innovative carbon and glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP) technology, for the North American automotive market. The Fibremod family of products enables automotive manufacturers to achieve weight-saving and process cost-saving targets. In... Read more →


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, have reported in the journal Nature Materials a new class of soft, solid electrolytes made from both polymers and ceramics that suppress dendrites in that early nucleation stage, before they can propagate... Read more →


LeydenJar Technologies, a Dutch spin-out of the applied research institute TNO, has developed a new,100% silicon anode for lithium-ion batteries. This breakthrough offers two key benefits: batteries with a 70% higher energy density (1350 Wh/L) and 62% less CO2 emissions. The anode is ready for production and LeydenJar is preparing... Read more →


U Texas team develops cobalt-free high-energy lithium-ion battery

Researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a cobalt-free high-energy lithium-ion battery, eliminating the cobalt and opening the door to reducing the costs of producing batteries while boosting performance in some ways. The team reported a new class of cathodes anchored... Read more →


Scientists from ExxonMobil, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Imperial College of London have published in the journal Science joint research on potential breakthroughs in a new membrane technology that could reduce emissions and energy intensity associated with refining crude oil. Laboratory tests indicate the patent-pending membrane could be used... Read more →


DOE announces $139M in funding for 55 projects to advance innovative vehicle technologies

US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced $139 million in federal funding for 55 projects across the country that will support new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies (DE-FOA-0002197, earlier post). Funded through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), projects will conduct research... Read more →


Geomega to recycle rare earths from USA Rare Earth’s anticipated neodymium magnet production

Geomega Resources Inc., a rare earth clean technologies developer for mining and recycling, and USA Rare Earth, LLC, the funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas, have entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) to recycle rare earth-containing production... Read more →


EIT InnoEnergy, the European innovation engine for sustainable energy, announced a partnership with Vulcan Energy Resources Limited (Vulcan), a start-up lithium exploration company, to produce the world’s first completely carbon-neutral lithium in Germany. The partnership is part of Europe’s strategic industry initiative, the European Battery Alliance, aimed at building an... Read more →


KIT team develops minimally invasive technology to mine lithium in geothermal plants

Scientists at KIT have developed and patented a process for minimally invasive technology to mine lithium in geothermal plants. The plan is to extract lithium using a minimally invasive process from the deep waters in geothermal plants of the Upper Rhine Graben—an area that has particularly favorable geological conditions for... Read more →


BMW Group sources sustainable cobalt worth around €100M from Morocco for fifth-gen batteries

Recently the BMW Group signed a cobalt supply contract with Moroccan mining company Managem Group; the contract has a volume of around €100 million, said Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. Managem is one of the world’s 5 largest... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $100 million in funding for 10 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a twenty-first-century energy economy. In recognition of the importance of teams in energy research, the EFRC program brings together researchers from multiple disciplines... Read more →


Demand for raw materials used in the production of electric car batteries is set to soar, prompting the UN trade body, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), to call for the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of raw materials, which include human rights abuses, to be... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a request for information (RFI) (DOE-FOA-0002358) on challenges and opportunities in the upstream and midstream critical-materials battery supply chains. In this RFI, DOE specifically seeks input on the current state of the battery cathode materials... Read more →


The central component of the electrolyzer, which has a major influence on efficiency and reliability, is an ion-conducting membrane. Evonik has now developed a novel anion exchange membrane (AEM), which should contribute to the breakthrough of electrolytic production of hydrogen. Anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolysis can potentially combine the beneficial... Read more →


The COBRA (CObalt-free Batteries for FutuRe Automotive Applications) project has been awarded a €11.8-million grant to develop Next Generation Cobalt-free batteries. COBRA, which aims to develop lithium, cobalt-free batteries made with new energy storage materials that incorporate intelligent sensors to help enhance their energy efficiency, is funded by the European... Read more →


Ampcera announces a low-cost and scalable solid electrolyte technology for solid-state batteries

Silicon-Valley-based Ampcera announced a low-cost flexible solid electrolyte (SE) membrane technology for solid-state batteries (SSBs). Unlike conventional lithium ion batteries (LIBs) that include a flammable liquid or gel polymer electrolyte, SSBs use a safe SE and promise to double the driving range of electric vehicles when loaded with the same... Read more →


DOE selects 11 manufacturing and materials projects to receive $3.3M for high performance computing research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected 11 projects to receive $3.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. The projects will use high performance computing to address key technical challenges in US manufacturing and materials development. Through DOE’s High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative, selected... Read more →


A team of Brown University researchers has used reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to enhance the toughness of an oxide-based solid-state lithium-ion conductor. In an open-access paper in the journal Matter, they report demonstrating materials with a greater than 2-fold enhancement in the average fracture toughness (KIC). To our knowledge, this... Read more →


Oy ECE EcoCooling Engineering Ltd, part of a portfolio of Finnish high-tech companies developing world-leading technologies, such as the front-lit technology used in Amazon Kindle-devices, is bringing to market the EcoCooling method to replace conventional metalworking fluids with ionized, cooled air. EcoCooling was developed and industrialized by the portfolio company... Read more →


The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €125-million loan with Umicore, the Belgian-based global materials technology and recycling group, to finance part of the greenfield production facility for cathode materials in Poland. The cathode materials will be supplied to battery manufacturers of high-tech lithium-ion batteries that are primarily used... Read more →


Cranfield: switching from aluminum to zinc alloys could greatly improve longevity and sustainability of automotive parts

A new study by researchers at Cranfield University in the UK finds that switching from aluminum to zinc alloys in the production of automotive parts could greatly enhance their longevity and sustainability. The study, conducted by Cranfield’s Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Center, evaluated the performance of three different alloys (aluminum-A380, magnesium-AZ91D... Read more →


Johnson Matthey refocusing its LFP business to support eLNO battery materials

Johnson Matthey’s Alternative Powertrain business provides battery systems for a range of applications, fuel cell technologies and battery materials for automotive applications. Its Battery Materials business comprises lithium iron phosphate (LFP) materials as well as eLNO—a portfolio of leading ultra-high energy density materials. For the fiscal year ending 31 March,... Read more →


Audi began using aluminum in 1994 with the first Audi A8 with the Audi Space Frame. Audi continues to use the lightweight metal in various components of what is now the fourth generation of the luxury sedan as part of an innovative multi-material mix. The production of aluminum is very... Read more →


Flow of lithium ions into and out of alloy battery anodes has long been a limiting factor in how much energy batteries could hold using conventional materials. Too much ion flow causes anode materials to swell and then shrink during charge-discharge cycles, causing mechanical degradation that shortens battery life. To... Read more →


Constellium SE signed a multi-year contract with Airbus. The new 10-year agreement supports all Airbus programs. Under this agreement, Constellium will supply Airbus with a broad range of advanced aluminum rolled and extruded products, including wing skin panels, sheets for fuselage panels, and rectangular and pre-machined plates for structural components.... Read more →


Scientists from the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, have developed a novel silica-based cathode for lithium–sulfur batteries, thereby enabling the realization of batteries that can last for more than 2,000 charge/discharge cycles. The possibility of successfully using the unconventional silica could spark a paradigm shift in rechargeable... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Critical Materials Institute (CMI) announced up to $4 million in funding (CMI OPI Call) to address challenges in establishing domestic supply chains for critical materials with specific emphasis on industrial relevance, participation, and adoption. Critical elements important to clean energy technologies currently included in... Read more →


Roskill: Nickel sulfate to be the key growth area of nickel demand over the next decade; driven by EVs

As a crucial raw material in Li-ion batteries used to electrify vehicles, a significant volume of nickel sulfate will be required in the decade ahead from the booming automotive sector. In a newly-released report (Nickel Sulphate Outlook to 2029, 3rd Edition) on the nickel sulfate industry, Roskill forecasts that growth... Read more →


SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, the partners in the joint venture HYBRIT (earlier post), are preparing for the construction of a demonstration plant for the production of fossil-free steel on an industrial scale. Consultations have begun for deciding on placement of the plant in Norrbotten, Sweden. The plan is for construction... Read more →


Samsung SDI injects capital into EcoPro EM JV for battery materials

Samsung SDI has begun injecting capital into EcoPro EM, a joint venture with EcoPro BM, a supplier of EV battery cathode materials to Samsung. EcoPro BM in turn is a subsidiary of EcoPro, a company that develops and produces technologies to remove and prevent air pollution from various sources. EcoPro... Read more →


Magnesium (Mg) is a promising candidates to replace lithium for electrochemical energy storage devices due to its abundance—far greater than that of lithium—enhanced safety, and theoretical high volumetric capacity. However, Mg batteries suffer from sluggish kinetics and poor reversibility, making it difficult to achieve high volumetric capacity. Now, researchers at... Read more →


Australia-based Argosy Minerals Limited confirmed the successful export shipment of five tonnes of >99.5% lithium carbonate product from its industrial-scale pilot plant operations at the Rincon Lithium Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The preliminary five tonne cargo was loaded onto the ship on Wednesday and set sail overnight from Buenos... Read more →


Inorganic NASCION‐type Li conductors have great potential to bring high capacity solid‐state lithium batteries (SSLBs) to realization, due to properties such as high ionic conductivity, stability under ambient conditions, wide electrochemical stability window, and inexpensive production. However, despite the merits, the integration of NASCION-type electrolytes in SSLBs is still hampered... Read more →


Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a thin-film, highly conductive solid-state electrolyte made of a polymer and ceramic-based composite for lithium metal batteries. Solid electrolytes are promising in enabling lithium metal to replace the conventional graphite anode to significantly increase the capacity and energy density of lithium-ion batteries. There... Read more →


Scientists at Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have developed a new coordination polymer glass membrane for hydrogen fuel cells that works just as well as its liquid counterparts with added strength and flexibility. A paper on the work is published in the journal Chemical Science. PEM hydrogen... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002322) for research and development that focuses on field validation and demonstration, as well as next-generation extraction, separation, and processing technologies for critical materials. Through this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) seeks to... Read more →


London-based sustainability consultancy Kumi, a market leader in responsible sourcing practices for global supply chains, has launched a due diligence tool called CAHRA Map to enable companies in the minerals and metals sector to identify “conflict-affected and high-risk areas” (CAHRAs). The identification of CAHRAs is a critical step in the... Read more →


The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $7.8 to two lithium recovery projects. Uniquely high concentrations of the dissolved soft metal are found in the brine produced by the state’s geothermal hotspots. The Salton Sea Known Geothermal Area contains an estimated six million tons of recoverable lithium within presently available geothermal... Read more →


Australia-based EcoGraf Limited has received confirmation that its high-purity graphite, which is produced from low-value graphite by-product fines utilising the EcoGraf process, has been qualified by two leading European industrial customers as meeting their strict physical and chemical specifications. The company’s product samples achieved the customers’ strict specifications including particle... Read more →


FCA says that its latest Global Warming Potential (GWP) analysis found that the redesigned-for-2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has an overall GWP 15% lower than that of its predecessor. The GWP improvement was calculated using industry-standard software that examines multiple factors associated with a vehicle’s design, production and on-road performance. These... Read more →


A new World Bank Group report finds that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that more than 3 billion tons of minerals and metals will be needed to... Read more →


India’s leading power trading company Manikaran Power Limited (MPL), in collaboration with its partner Australian project development company Neometals Ltd, has initiated a jointly-financed AACE Class 3 Feasibility Study (FS) to evaluate a lithium hydroxide refinery located in India with a nameplate capacity of a 20,000 tonnes per annum LCE... Read more →