For its Image of the Day of 2 January, NASA released a picture of the Silver Peak lithium mine—the only active lithium mine in the US. The Silver Peak mine—now owned by Albemarle —generates about 1% of the world’s annual production of lithium. Brine operations, mostly in Chile and Argentina,... Read more →

NEO Battery Materials to integrate recycled silicon into silicon anode materials

NEO Battery Materials, a developer of silicon anode materials, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with an Asia-based producer of high-purity silicon powder through recycling silicon by-product waste from solar photovoltaic cell and semiconductor manufacturing. The recycler will remain confidential until officially disclosed. The purpose is to enhance the price... Read more →

Graphex Technologies in MOU with Reforme Group to develop graphite manufacturing facilities in Australia; mine-to-battery graphite supply

Graphex Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Graphex Group and a mid-stream processor of natural graphite for use in Li-ion power batteries, entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Australia-based Reforme Group , a private mining and development group involved in developing processing, to create a strategic alliance... Read more →

Researchers from The University of Birmingham in the UK have demonstrated that the direct reuse of aluminum and copper current collectors from spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is possible. An open-access paper on their study is published in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Zhu et al. The ever-increasing number of spent... Read more →

Battery anode and materials company Talga Group reported that recent testing by a global Tier-1 EV manufacturer of unblended Talnode-Si—demonstrated ~5x the energy capacity of graphite-only commercial anodes (1,800mAh/g vs 360mAh/g). Talnode-Si is a composite of graphite, graphene and ~50% silicon designed to boost battery energy capacity when blended into... Read more →

The Nikkei reports that in 2024, Japan will begin to extract rare earth materials for electric vehicles and hybrids from sea bottom mud in an area off Minami-Torishima Island, a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean about 1,900 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. The government’s aim is to reduce the country’s... Read more →

Australia forecasts lithium export earnings of $16B in 2022-23, up from $5B in 2021-22

Australia’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources released the December 2022 edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ). Among its findings are that lithium export earnings are expected to exceed $16 billion in 2022–23, up from $5 billion in 2021–22. This will make lithium Australia’s sixth-largest resource and energy... Read more →

Umicore, Nano One enter into non-exclusive Joint Development Agreement for process technology for high nickel cathode material

Umicore, a circular materials technology company, and Nano One Materials Corp. signed a non-exclusive Joint Development Agreement (JDA) on production process technologies for cathode active materials (CAM) for lithium-ion batteries. Under the agreement, Umicore will evaluate Nano One’s patented M2CAM (metal direct to cathode) One-Pot process technology with the intention... Read more →

QuantumScape ships first 24-layer prototype Li-metal solid-state battery cells to automotive OEMs

QuantumScape Corporation has shipped its first 24-layer prototype lithium-metal battery cells to automotive OEMs for testing. Delivery of these cells, referred to as A0 samples, was the company’s key public milestone for the year, and achieving this goal represents an important step toward the commercialization of this technology, the company... Read more →

Researchers at KAUST and Aramco have developed a three-dimensional molybdenum disulfide foam with a structural hierarchy across seven orders of magnitude. The foam provides an interpenetrating network for efficient charge transport, rapid ion diffusion, and mechanically resilient and chemically stable support for electrochemical reactions. The extraordinary electrochemical performance of molybdenum... Read more →

Nornickel places CNY 5 billion exchange-traded bonds

Russia-based Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel producer, as well as one of the leading platinum and copper producers, announced the successful placement of CNY (Chinese Yuan) 5 billion (~US$716 million ) exchange-traded bonds (series БО-001Р-06-CNY) on 22 December. Nornickel said that the deal is an... Read more →

Rice University scientists led by chemist James Tour have used an ultrafast flash recycling method to regenerate the graphite anode from spent Li-ion batteries and recover valuable battery metal resources. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and a professor of materials science and nanoengineering; Tour introduced... Read more →

European Lithium signed a binding long term lithium offtake agreement via its wholly-owned Austrian subsidiary ECM Lithium AT GmbH with BMW to secure the company’s first offtake of battery grade lithium hydroxide (LiOH) from its Wolfsberg Lithium Project underground mine in Austria. ECM has granted BMW the first right to... Read more →

BASF supplying customized high-performance NCM cathode active materials to Toyota/Panasonic JV PPES

BASF has delivered the first batch of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathode active materials (CAM) via its majority-owned joint venture BASF TODA Battery Materials LLC (BTBM) to Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Panasonic Holdings Corporation (Panasonic). BTBM provided a newly developed product... Read more →

Metso Outotec contracted for technology for the Keliber Lithium Project

Sibanye-Stillwater’s subsidiary Keliber has selected Metso Outotec to provide its sustainable soda pressure leaching technology for Keliber’s lithium hydroxide refinery, which will be built in Kokkola, Finland. (Earlier post.) Keliber owns the advanced lithium project located in the Kaustinen region of Finland, which intends to be one of the first... Read more →

Nissan to use Kobe Steel’s low-CO₂ steel and green aluminum for Nissan models

Nissan Motor and Kobe Steel announced that Nissan plans to use Kobenable Steel for Nissan models from January 2023 onward. Kobenable steel, commercialized by Kobe Steel, reduces CO2 emissions in the blast furnace process. (Earlier post.) Kobe Steel will also supply Nissan with aluminum sheets made from green-aluminum raw materials.... Read more →

Researchers from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Fujitsu have applied quantum-inspired computing to find the promising, previously unexplored chemical family of Ru-Cr-Mn-Sb-O2 as acidic oxygen evolution reaction catalysts for hydrogen production. The best catalyst shows a mass activity eight times higher than state-of-the-art RuO2... Read more →

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published its final rule listing Tiehm’s buckwheat as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The Service is also designating 910 acres of critical habitat on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in the Rhyolite Ridge area of the Silver... Read more →

Rio Tinto completes acquisition of Turquoise Hill for $3.1B

Rio Tinto has completed its acquisition of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd for a consideration of approximately $3.1 billion, simplifying the ownership of the world-class Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, significantly strengthening Rio Tinto’s copper portfolio, and demonstrating its long-term commitment to the project and Mongolia. Rio Tinto now holds a... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz will collaborate with Norwegian aluminum producer Hydro to reduce significantly the CO₂ footprint of aluminum in the automotive supply chain. Hydro and Mercedes-Benz will from 2023 to 2030 collaborate on a joint technology roadmap aiming to develop aluminium solutions approved for automotive applications with a CO2 footprint below 3.0... Read more →

Echion and CBMM partner to build 2000 t/year manufacturing capacity for anode-grade niobium oxides

Battery materials company Echion Technologies (earlier post) and the world’s leading supplier of Niobium products and technology, CBMM, announced a multi-year manufacturing partnership that will construct a new 2000 tonne per year facility in Araxá, Brazil, to supply, at scale, niobium oxides anode grade to be applied in Echion’s safe,... Read more →

Silicon battery technology company Group14 closes additional $214M for $614M Series C funding round

Group14 Technologies, a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced silicon battery technology, raised $214 million in additional financing from a consortium including Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, Lightrock Climate Impact Fund, Moore Strategic Ventures, Oman Investment Authority, and Molicel. The latest financing brings Group14’s Series C round to a total of... Read more →

Albemarle to build $180M lithium materials research facility in N Carolina

Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, has acquired a location in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it will invest at least $180 million to establish the Albemarle Technology Park (ATP), a world-class facility designed for novel materials research, advanced process development, and acceleration of next-generation lithium products... Read more →

Glencore, ACE Green in 15-year offtake agreement for recycled lead and Li-ion battery materials

ACE Green Recycling (ACE), a global recycling technology and supply chain platform, and diversified mining firm Glencore plc will enter a long-term supply agreement for recycled lead as well as key battery-metal-based end products from recycled lithium-ion batteries. This strategic partnership will help create a circular supply chain on a... Read more →

Researchers in China have designed a 3D-crosslinked binder with ultralow-content (1 wt%) that not only endures the huge volume variation of silicon anodes under charge/discharge cycles but also enhance electrochemical performance. A paper on their work is published in Journal of Power Sources. High-content binders (10–50 wt%) are often noted... Read more →

Researchers at Stanford University, with colleagues in Taiwan, have used an initially low surface area/porosity graphite (DGr) material as the positive electrode in a Li/Cl2 battery, attaining high battery performance after activation in CO2 at 1000 °C (DGr_ac) with the first discharge capacity ∼1910 mAh g–1 and a cycling capacity... Read more →

IG Metall, Germany’s largest union as well as Europe’s largest industrial union, warns that at Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann (HKM), the switch to climate-neutral steel production is may fail due to the lack of financing. This would be the end of the plant, IG Metall said. With a current production volume... Read more →

Nucor Corporation, a North American manufacturer of steel and steel products, has made an equity investment in Electra, a Colorado-based start-up developing a process to produce carbon-free iron that can be used to make steel. Electra uses renewable energy to refine low-grade iron ores into high-purity iron through electrochemical and... Read more →

The Government of Canada on Friday released its Critical Minerals Strategy , backed by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding allocated in Budget 2022. (Earlier post.) The proposed funding covers a range of industrial activities, from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for... Read more →

Hitachi Metals has verified in simulations that by optimizing the design of motors that use its high-performance ferrite magnet NMF 15 (hereinafter “ferrite magnet motors” earlier post), they are able to achieve the same level of output as traction motors for xEV that use neodymium magnets. Ferrite magnet motors do... Read more →

Dow launches selective adhesion liquid silicone rubber series for automotive market

Dow launched the SILASTIC SA 994X Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) series for the mobility and transportation industry. The SILASTIC SA 994X LSR series is a range of primerless, self-adhesive, general purpose and self-lubricating, one-to-one mix ratio LSRs designed for two-component injection moulding with thermoplastic substrates including, but not limited to,... Read more →

Euro Manganese (EMN), a Canada-based company developing the Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic (earlier post), released the results from a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study comparing the global warming potential (GWP) of EMN’s high-purity manganese products from the Chvaletice Project with those produced by the incumbent industry in... Read more →

BWP, LiCAP, and Siemens partner on mass production of dry electrode manufacturing equipment

BWP, LiCAP and Siemens have entered a strategic partnership to manufacture and commercialize innovative dry electrode manufacturing systems for the battery cell industry. BW Papersystems (BWP), a division of Barry-Wehmiller, is a capital equipment manufacturer for multiple industries. LiCAP Technologies, Inc. (LiCAP) is a developer of cost-effective and sustainable dry... Read more →

UP Catalyst offering carbon-negative graphite for European battery supply chain

UP Catalyst, an Estonia-based company developing a method to produce sustainable carbon nanomaterials and graphite from CO2 (earlier post), says that it can produce carbon-negative graphite, consuming 3.7 tons of CO2 per ton of graphite material produced. Conventional production of graphite not only takes place far away from battery manufacturing... Read more →

ORNL team develops new hydrothermal synthesis method for cobalt-free cathode material

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new hydrothermal synthesis method that makes a cobalt-free cathode material (LiNi0.9Mn0.05Al0.05O2, NMA) with more uniform, round, tightly packed particles than is common in today’s cathodes, maintaining more stability throughout a charging cycle. The result is a more... Read more →

In Q3 2022, more than 77,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) were deployed onto roads in the cells of newly-sold passenger PHEVs and BEVs globally—70% more than was deployed the same period the year prior, according to data from Adamas Intelligence. In the Asia Pacific region, LCE deployment jumped... Read more →

Constellium to lead £10M CirConAl project to develop lower carbon, lower cost recycled aluminum alloys with automakers and suppliers

Constellium SE is leading a new consortium of automakers and suppliers to develop lower carbon, lower cost aluminum extrusion alloys. Sponsored by a grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Center (APC), the £10-million (US$12.3-million) CirConAl (Circular and Constant aluminum) project aims to maximize the use of post-consumer scrap in a... Read more →

Volkswagen Group and PowerCo SE to search for gigafactory site in Canada; extending cathode agreement with Umicore to Canada

Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume and the Canadian Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, signed an Addendum to the non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of August this year (earlier post) to identify suitable sites for a cell factory in Canada. The two parties will continue their cooperation in the... Read more →

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California (Lithium Valley Commission) submitted its report of findings and recommendations to the state Legislature. The report recommends accelerating transmission planning; improving permitting; and securing funding for infrastructure investments and economic development incentives to support industry growth and job training. Established by... Read more →

Through its venture capital fund BMW i Ventures, the BMW Group has taken a stake in Colorado-based Jetti Resources. Founded in 2014, Jetti Resources has developed a pioneering process for copper extraction that utilizes previously unused ore from existing copper mines. BMW’s goal is to foster responsible and resource-conserving copper... Read more →

Canadaa-based Prairie Lithium has commissioned the third iteration of its Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) pilot plant at the Emerald Park testing facility. The DLE pilot is designed to process deep subsurface brines sourced from Prairie Lithium’s Fall 2022 drilling program when 600 m3 of lithium rich brine was reserved for... Read more →

LanzaTech and Sumitomo Riko partner to produce isoprene from rubber, resin and urethane waste; substitute for natural rubber production

LanzaTech and Sumitomo Riko Company have entered into a joint-development agreement to reuse rubber, resin and urethane waste for the production of a key chemical intermediate, isoprene. Isoprene is produced by plants, and along with its polymers, is the main component of natural rubber. Natural rubber is widely regarded as... Read more →

Hyundai Motor Group signs MOU with SK On to secure EV battery supply for N America

Hyundai Motor Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SK On to secure a supply of EV batteries in North America. Under the MOU, both parties will cooperate to provide SK On batteries to the Group’s plants in the US after 2025 for the EV production. Further details on... Read more →

Rio Tinto plans to invest $600M more in renewable energy in the Pilbara

Rio Tinto is planning to invest a further $600 million in renewable energy assets in the Pilbara as part of the company’s efforts to decarbonize its Western Australian iron ore operations. The investment will fund the construction of two 100MW solar power facilities as well as 200 MWh of on-grid... Read more →

Finland-based Keliber’s long-planned lithium project is progressing into the construction phase, as preparatory work on the lot of the lithium hydroxide refinery will be kicked off before Christmas. The refinery will be built in Kokkola Industrial Park (KIP), and it will produce lithium hydroxide. Starting the construction of the refinery... Read more →

Norway-based research organization SINTEF is currently heading a major EU-funded project called HARARE, which aims to use hydrogen to recover copper and aluminum from copper slag and bauxite residues (red muds), respectively. HARARE stands for “Hydrogen As the Reducing Agent in the REcovery of metals and minerals from metallurgical waste”.... Read more →

Rio Tinto validates BioIron process for low-carbon iron-making; biomass and microwave energy

Rio Tinto has shown the effectiveness of a low-carbon iron-making process using ores from its mines in Australia in a small-scale pilot plant in Germany, and is now planning the development of a larger-scale pilot plant to further assess its potential to help decarbonize the steel value chain. The process,... Read more →

Niron Magnetics secures $17.5M ARPA-E SCALEUP grant to boost production of FeN magnets

Niron Magnetics, a developer of high-performance, rare earth-free permanent magnets (earlier post), announced that the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded the company a $17.5-million grant as part of its Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program.... Read more →

LG Chem today has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state of Tennessee to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville with an investment of US$3.2 billion. The new Clarksville plant will be the largest of its kind in the United States, covering 420 acres with a... Read more →

Rare earth elements (REEs), especially heavy REEs (HREEs), are important in modern industry. However, conventional mining techniques apply excessive usage of ammonium-salt-based leaching agents to recover HREEs from ion-adsorption rare earth deposits (IADs), which exhibits low efficiency and devastating environmental impact on the local ecosystem. A research team led by... Read more →