World Materials Forum
Newsletter #21

Dear all

This month we are very proud to announce the program of WMF 2020 with an incredible combination of co-chairs, speakers... and moderators. So we will now start preparing for these superb plenary sessions and debates next June!

Program 2020

The general news of December was the report published by the UN International Resource Panel that uses the example of houses and cars to highlight the double virtuous effect of materials efficiency - as such and with huge impact on carbon footprint - see IISD, December 19th

And a very interesting paper (in German) with the Swiss real examples of decoupling economic growth and the use of materials.

A continuous stream of analysis and projects in the field of critical materials be rare earth (more US public funding), battery materials (IBM substituting critical battery materials with seawater?), EVs vs fuel cells supply chain (Toyota analysis)... or water (the Guardian demonstrates that violence related to scarcity of water increases).

And some great contributions from universities: an innovative combination of zeolites, gelatin and cellulose for capturing CO2 at Chalmers in Sweden, plastic wastes as raw materials for fuel cells at NTU in Singapore, further work on developing silicon anodes for batteries at NIMS in Japan... and a thorough review of Graphene taking off in composites for planes and cars.

Financial Times also reviews the many ways businesses now use AI to reduce waste and to maintain products and materials in use.

Not to forget many sustainability initiatives with the first commercial electric flight in Canada, Rolls Royce announcing its bet to beat the 2017 Siemens electric plane speed record, a wide range of initiatives promoted by Brunel University and Saint Gobain in order to improve materials efficiency and recycling in the construction industry ... and the Citeo-Mars-Nestle-Total alliance for industrial chemical recycling of plastic packaging in France.

Finally some good news (be deals, awards, fundings, new product launches or papers) coming from our WMF start ups with Carbios (France), Citrine (USA), Kebotix (USA), Nawa (France), Polystyvert (Canada), Rein4Ced (Belgium), Safi Organics (Kenya) and Woodoo (France).

And of course we use the opportunity to wish you all a very happy and successful new year.

Victoire de Margerie & Philippe Varin


Reuters, December 10th:
Further investment expected to secure the US supply chain of rare earths

Reuters, December 18th & Greenbiz, December 30th: Substitution for critical battery materials and 1st application of quantum technology at IBM?

Autoweek, December 27th:
Toyota explains in simple words the plus and minus of hydrogen fuel cells vs EVs

The Guardian, December 31st:
Water becoming more and more of a critical resource?


Eurekalert, December 5th:
Graphene takes off in composites for planes and cars, December 9th:
Chalmers’ University in Sweden identifies a new porous material combining zeolites, gelatin and cellulose that shows great potential for capturing CO2 at low cost

New Atlas, December 11th:
Turning plastic waste into key raw material for fuel cells at NTU in Singapore

Eurekalert, December 23rd:
High performance anode out of silicon nanoparticules at NIMS of Japan


FT, December 5th:
Reducing waste or maintaining products/materials in use thanks to AI


EDIE, December 11th:
Mars, Nestle, Total and Citeo ally for industrial chemical recycling of plastic packaging waste in France

City AM, December 11th:
First fully electric commercial flight in Canada?

City AM, December 19th:
Rolls Royce to beat soon the Siemens electric plane speed world record?

The Conversation, December 5th & Arch Daily, December 23rd:
Two interesting papers - written by Brunel University for one and sponsored by St Gobain for the second - about materials efficiency and recycling in the construction industry


Carbios (N 2017), December 3rd:
1,4 M funding received from ADEME for developing enzymatic recycling technology

Citrine (Grand Prix 2017), December 12th:
Enterprise Product of the Year at Best in Biz Awards

Kebotix (N 2019), December 3rd:
Partners with Mexican Koura to develop environment friendly materials

Nawa Technologies (N 2019), December 22nd:
One off electric motorcycle highlights the potential of supercapacitors for EVs

Polystyvert (N 2018), December 19th:
Acknowledged as changing the face of polymer recycling

Rein4Ced (N 2018), December 30th:
One of the 10 start ups based in Leuven to watch out for 2020

Safi Organics (N 2019), December 11th:
Selected by Moroccan accelerator Impulse

Woodoo (N 2017), December 20th:
Paper in Boursorama