World Materials Forum
Newsletter #22

Dear all

In January we had the 3rd edition of our WMF California Chapter with both a super interesting visit of the Rare Earth Mine at Mountain Pass and an insightful dinner in San Francisco that focused on the top technologies that the world needs to boost in order to speed up the decoupling of economic growth and the use of our natural resources. More to come of course when we will announce our WMF Top 10 Technologies at WMF 2020 in Nancy - see Program below.


Also sustainability comes first in the recent news with the announcement of major initiatives by a range of multinational corporations such as Amazon, Apple, BP, Danone, Microsoft, Nestle or Unilever as well as an interesting paper from Harvard Business Review that revisits the role of the modern CFO as a « green » CFO using some « green » KPIs surprisingly (?) well correlated to companies’ financial performance.

A continuous stream of analysis as well in the field of critical materials, be recycling of EV batteries, new ways of extracting lithium, or all types of ongoing projects to store renewable energies - hopefully for more then 12 hours.

And a wide range of innovations from universities and Start Ups: new chemistry for lithium sulfur batteries at Monash, new production methods for aerospace composites at MIT, emerging plastic recycling technology in Israel, new bio polymers at Stanford, and some first ideas on how quantum technology could be used in the future for more efficient materials discovery.

Finally some good news (be deals, awards, fundings, new product launches or papers) coming from our WMF start ups with Aeronautical Services (Italy), Carbios (France), Citrine Informatics (USA), Rein4Ced (Belgium), Sepion Technologies (USA) and Woodoo (France).

Victoire de Margerie & Philippe Varin


Energyfuse, January 16th:
A good summary of the opportunities offered by the recycling of EV batteries - in the US but exportable to other regions..

Green Car Congress, January 22nd:
A new way of extracting lithium from geothermal brine wastes at Oak Ridge National Lab?

EE News, January 29th:
A review of major moves in the field of renewable energy storage over the past 12 months


Power Engineering, January 10th:
Progress on Lithium sulfur batteries at Monash University

MIT News, January 13th:
New method developed at MIT to make aerospace-grade composites without requiring heavy infrastructures to fuse the materials together?

Business Insider Australia, January 18th:
Promising results in the field of plastic wastes recycling coming from an Israeli Start Up

Stanford News, January 30th:
A unique polymer made of orange peels and avocado skins that can keep crops hydrated during dry spells discovered at Stanford?

Built In, January 30th:
Or how we could use quantum technology for materials discovery


Seeking Alpha, December 5th:
Apple buys first carbon free aluminium from Elysis

Packaging Europe, December 20th:
BP, Danone & Unilever ally to recycle opaque PET

MIT Tech Review, January 16th:
Microsoft to invest 1 billion $ to offset all emissions it produced since 1975

RTE, January 16th:
Nestle to invest 1,9 billion € to move into food safe recycled plastics

The Motley Fool, January 24th:
Green initiatives by Apple, Amazon and Microsoft as seen by investors

Harvard Business Review, January 28th:
Or how « green » CFOs can strongly contribute to their companies CSR and financial performance


Aeronautical Services (Coup de Cœur 2019), January 20th:
Delivery of ceramic composites than can stand 2.800°C

Carbios (N 2017), January 30th:
Joint development agreement with Novozymes

Citrine (Grand Prix 2017), January 17th:
Citrine in the 2020 Global Clean Tech 100

Rein4Ced (N 2018), January 16th:
“Today Accell Group and REIN4CED announced their collaboration on the automated production of high-end carbon fiber bicycle frames for Accell. Mid 2020 the first hardtail mountain bikes with the new technology for Accell’s brand Ghost will be available in Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Czech. REIN4CED set up a brand new automated manufacturing facility in Belgium. With the production shift from Asia to Belgium, Accell benefits from significant logistic and sustainability advantages as well as increased supply chain flexibility and efficiency. Local manufacturing in Europe drastically reduces overseas shipments and storage, resulting in a positive contribution to CO2 emission, faster deliveries and cost savings. CEO Accell Group Ton Anbeek: "This collaboration matches Accell Group’s global innovation strategy and ambition to increase sustainability in its products. With enhanced durability and safety through local production and maximum performance for our cyclists with the new FEATHER technology. In two words: this innovation is smart and green". CEO REIN4CED Michaël Callens: "Accell Group is a world leader and pioneer in the bicycle industry and we are proud to work together. REIN4CED developed a new, automated production line for hybrid composite bicycle frames in its production facility in Leuven, Belgium, with an annual production capacity of up to 20.000 frames. Accell and its consumers will benefit from our product as the new FEATHER composite material offers extreme impact resistance. Our hybrid carbon-and-steel fiber composite will deliver the confidence that cyclists deserve in high-end composite bicycle frames. The FEATHER material combines the stiffness and lightweight characteristics of carbon with the toughness of steel".

Sepion (N 2017):
Additional funding by the California Energy Commission

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

Woodoo (N 2017), January 16th:
Superb paper in Italian