A team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has shown by modeling that the wafer cost of an emerging Ga2O3 wide bandgap semiconductor can be more than 3-times lower compared to SiC. This lower cost of the Ga2O3 wafers should lead to less-expensive high-performance power electronic devices in the... Details →


The production of an electric vehicle currently generates significantly more CO2 than that of cars with a combustion engine—around 150% on average. From a lifecycle view, this additional carbon burden is offset compared to the combustion engine vehicle during the use phase, as EVs rack up zero-emission miles that eventually... Details →


ITA: Tin in Li-ion batteries could represent significant new use

The International Tin Association (ITA) released a new report detailing its latest research on potential new market opportunities for tin in lithium-ion batteries. ITA concluded that if tin does gain market share, lithium-ion batteries could grow to represent a significant new tin use in the 2025-2030 timescale—up to 60,000 tonnes... Details →


In the UK, steelmakers and university experts will partner in a 7-year, £35-million (US$45-million) research network called SUSTAIN. SUSTAIN is led by Swansea University, partnered with the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, and involves more than twenty partners across the UK steel industry: companies, trade bodies, academic experts and research... Details →


DOE to provide $30M for new data science approaches for energy-relevant chemistry and materials research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $30 million (DE-FOA-0002082) for new research projects using modern data science approaches to accelerate discovery in chemistry and materials sciences. Data science combines computer science, applied mathematics, and statistics with domain science to discover new knowledge from often complex (such as unstructured)... Details →


Understanding the behavior of composite materials is important to advancing their design, since attempts to further strengthen or stiffen them can sometimes produce counterproductive results. A $545,000 grant over three years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to answer some of the central questions about the microstructural mechanisms that... Details →


In 2018, global deployment of nickel, graphite, copper, LCE, aluminum and cobalt by passenger vehicle cell suppliers increased by 75% to 99% versus the year prior, according to data from Adamas Intelligence’s “EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker”. These growth rates are particularly remarkable when considering that global BEV... Details →


A study by a team from the University of Toronto and Ford R&D in Dearborn has found that lightweighting is an effective solution that could provide important near-term GHG emission reductions especially during the next 10–20 years when the fleet is dominated by conventional powertrain vehicles. a) Annual US. light-duty... Details →


Researchers at MIT have created a new technique that allows the observation of a metal surface during hydrogen penetration—the process that results in embrittlement of the metal. The new way of observing the embrittlement process as it happens may help to reveal how the embrittlement gets triggered, and it may... Details →


by Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com. It’s been a decade of lows for commodities after posting 7 declines in 11 years, but we’ve seriously underestimated lithium. It’s back with a vengeance in 2019. The commodities market endured yet another annus horribilis, with just four commodities—natural gas, uranium, cocoa and wheat—recording any... Details →


Engineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a way to weld the super-strong but lightweight aluminum alloy known as AA 7075. Developed in the 1940s, AA 7075 long held promise for use in automobile manufacturing, except for one key obstacle. Although it’s nearly as strong as steel... Details →


Rice team awarded $3.3M ARPA-E OPEN+ grant to convert methane into carbon nanotubes and hydrogen

Rice University researchers have won a $3.3-million Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) OPEEN+ grant to develop a method to convert natural gas into carbon nanotubes for materials that can replace metals in large-scale applications. The goal is to save energy and stem carbon dioxide emissions from metal manufacturing... Details →


If ship hulls were coated with special bo-inspired high-tech air trapping materials, up to 1% of global CO2 emissions could be avoided according to a new study by researchers from the University of Bonn together with colleagues from St. Augustin and Rostock. According to the study, ships could save up... Details →


Argonne’s HyMag technology boosts usable magnetic flux density of permanent magnets by 10-30%

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have developed a new magnet technology that could benefit virtually any technology that draws power from electric motors or generates power from generators. HyMag significantly increases the usable magnetic flux density of a permanent magnet by 10 to... Details →


Ford, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem, RCS Global launch blockchain pilot to address concerns in strategic mineral supply chains; cobalt to start

Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global will use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals in an effort to support human rights and environmental protection while helping infuse more transparency into global mineral supply chains. The group, which includes participants at each major... Details →


Mazda Motor Corporation, working separately with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and JFE Steel Corporation, has developed the world’s first cold-stamped vehicle body parts made from 1,310 MPa-class high-strength steel. The parts are used in Mazda’s new-generation Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which will underpin upcoming models starting from the all-new Mazda3.... Details →


Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan are proposing the selective dismantling of certain components from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) to increase the recycling potential of precious metals (PMs). In a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that, in Japan, totals of 33–53% of PMs in ELVs... Details →


Rio Tinto has successfully deployed AutoHaul, establishing the world’s largest robot and first automated heavy-haul, long distance rail network. (Earlier post.) The average return distance of these trains is about 800 kilometers with the average journey cycle, including loading and dumping, taking about 40 hours. Since completing the first loaded... Details →


Bolivia and ACISA found joint venture to extract and industrialize lithium from residual brine; €300M investment

Bolivian state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) have formed a joint venture: YLB-ACISA. The aim of the JV is the sustainable extraction and industrialization of lithium as well as other raw materials from Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt... Details →


Xtalic Corporation, a leader in providing nano-scale metal alloys and coatings, has entered the electric vehicle market with products that extend the life of connectors in electric battery chargers by up to 40 times. Founded by the head of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute... Details →


An international team of researchers has developed a manganese hydride molecular sieve that can be readily synthesized from inexpensive precursors and demonstrates a reversible excess adsorption performance of 10.5 wt% and 197 kgH2m-3 at 120 bar at ambient temperature with no loss of activity after 54 cycles. The team projects... Details →


Engineers seeking to significantly improve the efficiency and performance of electric motors could benefit from using aluminum matrix composites (AMCs), according to research from the Innovate UK ‘Make it Lighter with Less’ R&D competition. Metal Matrix Composites are metallic materials that have been reinforced with a secondary high-performance material. The... Details →


BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics launch cross-industry project to support sustainable cobalt mining

As part of a cross-industry initiative, the BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics have launched a joint cobalt pilot project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A contract to this effect between the companies, together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, will aim... Details →


ADEME, France’s Environment and Energy Management Agency, carried out a study with IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) on the dynamics of lithium supply and demand, based on different scenarios for the electrification of the global car fleet by 2050. The lithium market continues to grow; in 2015, the market grew by... Details →


JRC: Europe must take steps to boost supply of cobalt for EV batteries

The coming electric vehicle boom will significantly increase the demand for cobalt in the EU and globally. As a result, demand is expected to exceed supply already in 2020 and the EU must take steps to boost supply and curb demand without hindering the growth in electric vehicles, according to... Details →


Albemarle signs exclusivity agreement with Mineral Resources for 50/50 lithium JV in W. Australia; $1.15B deal

Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, signed an Exclusivity Agreement (Agreement) with Mineral Resources Limited in relation to the potential creation of a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to own and operate the Wodgina hard rock lithium mine and ultimately develop an integrated lithium hydroxide operation at... Details →


AP&C—a GE Additive company— will begin production of aluminum alloy F357 powder in Q1 2019 with customer deliveries expected from April 2019. Aluminum F357 alloy is increasingly in demand from customers particularly from the aerospace and automotive sectors. It is known to have good weldability with high strength and toughness... Details →


A team led by Kanazawa University in Japan has developed a cleaner method for the recycling of several rare earths (REs) such as yttrium (Y) and europium (Eu) used as phosphors in fluorescent lamps (FLs). End-of-life FLs are a potentially huge source of REs, but harsh and polluting processes are... Details →


Novelis plans Customer Solution Centers to innovate alongside automotive customers

Novelis Inc., the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, plans to establish a global network of Customer Solution Centers (CSCs) to accelerate collaborative innovation between Novelis and automakers for the next generation of vehicle design. Novelis will work with OEMs to determine how to maximize lightweight, high-strength aluminum to... Details →


BASF and Nornickel partner to supply cobalt and nickel battery materials

BASF and Nornickel have established a strategic cooperation to meet the growing needs for battery materials in electric vehicles. BASF has selected Harjavalta, Finland, as the first location for battery materials production serving the European automotive market. The plant will be constructed adjacent to the nickel and cobalt refinery owned... Details →


TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading global developer and manufacturer of advanced composite materials, and Aston Martin announced a technical partnership for the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar program. Unveiled in March 2017 as the AM-RB (Aston Martin - Red Bull Racing) hypercar, and subsequently named Valkyrie, the mid-engined hypercar features a... Details →


Carbon fibers have already beeen demonstrated as high-capacity Li-ion battery anodes, opening the way for their use as structural electrodes—i.e., simultaneously carrying mechanical load and storing electrical energy. Now, researchers led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have linked the carbon fiber (CF) microstructure to the lithium insertion mechanism and... Details →


Novelis breaks ground on automotive aluminum facility in Changzhou, China; $180M investment to double capacity in 2020

Novelis, the global leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, broke ground on the expansion of its automotive aluminum manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China. The $180-million investment will double the facility’s production capacity of heat-treated aluminum sheet by 100,000 metric tons in order to better meet the growing demand for automotive... Details →


Researchers at the National University Of Science And Technology MISIS (NUST MISIS) in Russia have proposed a technology that can double the strength of composites obtained by 3D printing from aluminum powder, and advance the characteristics of these products to the quality of titanium alloys: titanium’s strength is about six... Details →


Bolivian state enterprise Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) officially sealed their cooperation on the extraction and industrialization of lithium from Salar de Uyuni. Juan Carlos Montenegro, Head of YLB, and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schmutz, CEO of ACISA, signed a partnership agreement... Details →


Cabot Corporation partnering with Argonne, SAFT in DOE-funded project for development of low-cobalt cathodes

Cabot Corporation, a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in an advanced vehicle technologies research project that is part of a large, $80-million funding package (earlier post). Cabot will leverage its novel process technology to contribute... Details →


NSF awards Saratoga Energy grant to advance production of carbon nanotubes from CO2 for batteries closer to market

Saratoga Energy has won a National Science Foundation grant to scale up its breakthrough process for generating low-cost, top quality carbon nanotubes from carbon dioxide for use in making high-performance Li-ion batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles, grid storage, and military and aerospace applications. The $723,000 Phase II... Details →


Critical Materials Institute takes major step toward printed anisotropic magnets

The US Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) has taken a major step toward printed, aligned anisotropic magnets via additive manufacturing processes. The Energy Innovation Hub manufactured hybrid nylon-bonded neodymium-iron-boron and samarium-iron-nitrogen magnets using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The research is... Details →


Researchers at the University of Surrey (UK), with colleagues from the University of California, Irvine and Johns Hopkins University, have developed a new material that is as stiff as metal but flexible enough to withstand strong vibrations (damping). The researchers believe their new material could usher in a new wave... Details →


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have used magnets recovered from used computer hard drives in an electric motor. The permanent magnets made from rare earth elements were reused without alteration in an axial gap motor, which can be adapted for use in electric vehicles and industrial machinery. In... Details →


Aluminum industry says NHTSA/EPA draft rule assumptions on lightweighting in small cars false

Last week, Mario Greco, chairman of the Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) and director of global marketing of automotive for Arconic, testified on behalf of the aluminum industry before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during a public hearing held in Dearborn, Michigan.... Details →


Ford approaches 1 billion pounds of aluminum recycled; 900M pounds back into Ford products

Ford’s Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan today makes America’s best selling vehicle—the Ford F-150—and started Ford’s industry-leading closed-loop aluminum recycling innovation (earlier post), which was then expanded to other F-150 manufacturing facilities including Dearborn Stamping, Kansas City Truck and Buffalo Stamping. Closed-loop recycling means that as hoods, tailgates, doors and... Details →


DOE awards $1.2M to four vehicle and hydrogen projects under High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $1.2 million in funding for four projects—two with the Vehicle Technologies Office and two with the Fuel Cell Technologies Office—under the High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program. This program aims to utilize the high performance computing (HPC) of DOE’s national laboratories to help... Details →


DOE awards MIT researchers $1.9M to advance electrolytic production of copper; direct production of copper wire

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded MIT associate professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore a $1.9-million grant to run larger scale tests of a new one-step, molten electrolysis process (earlier post) to produce copper from sulfur-based minerals—the main source of copper. One of Allanore’s primary goals is to make... Details →


Scientists at KU Leuven, University of Lubumbashi reveal the health risks of cobalt mining in DR Congo

Demand for cobalt has been on the increase due to its many applications. The metal is a crucial component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. Around 60% of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the mineral-rich Katanga Copper belt, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Researchers... Details →


SJTU team makes progress in strain-hardening in high-strength metals by incorporating nanofillers

A team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), with colleagues at Tsinghua University and Brown University, have developed a means to regain the strain-hardening ability of high-strength metals by incorporating of extrinsic nanofillers at grain boundaries. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal NANO Letters. Grain... Details →


Microfractures in metal alloys, though impossible to see with the naked eye, can easily spread when exposed to water or hydrogen and lead to major problems in structures such as bridges, electrochemical and nuclear plants and hydrogen storage containers, leading to failures and expensive repairs. In a recent study involving... Details →


Data and analytics company GlobalData forecasts that the demand for lithium needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries for use in EVs will more than double from 26.7kt in 2018 to 58.3kt in 2022. According to GlobalData, the global EV market is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR of... Details →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory announced the availability of a new manufacturing technology that simplifies the manufacture of nanomaterials in high volumes. Known as Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP), the technology offers significant benefits over traditional methods used to manufacture the particle-based substances that are critical to... Details →


KIT team finds wear occurs at first and always takes place at same point

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) recently showed that wear occurs at the first and always takes place at the same point of the material. Their findings can help develop optimized materials and reduce consumption of energy and raw materials. The researchers presented results of two studies... Details →


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