World Materials Forum
Newsletter #31

Dear all

Fast start for 2021....

In the field of critical materials, this is a combination of new research projects (15 of them will receive grants from US DoE), new capacities (Lynas rare earth separation project in Texas)... and a real challenge ahead of us in terms of future availability (very interesting review by So as proposed by Financial Times, what about learning from the race to vaccines against COViD and be quicker on developing the full supply chain for electric vehicles?

Further on the scientific front with a variety of innovations such as better energy density and longer cycle life for sodium ion batteries at Hydro Quebec, new design for zinc air batteries at University of Münster, invisible solar panels at Incheon University, new 2D materials that could be upscaled without solvents or water at Rice University, practical guidelines from Chalmers to better and safer operate lithium metal batteries, doubling capacity of solid state batteries at Tokyo and Tohoku Universities ... and progress towards faster Quantum Computers at Berkeley.

On the sustainability front, we picked 4 examples: a review of steady progress on the full chain of collecting, recycling and reusing composites and carbon fibers involving Anmet, AOC and Suez in Europe by Composites World, a sizeable reduction of water consumption for production of castor as raw material for bio polymers by the Pragati initiative in India involving BASF and Arkéma, a great transition project from coal to green hydrogen in Hamburg thanks to cooperation between MHI, Shell, Wärme Hamburg and Vattenfall. And an interesting perspective proposed by Research center CSIRO that Australia could boost its GDP by $1 billion per annum by boosting its recycling capacities by 5%.

Finally 12 of our great Start Up Alumni are also in the news this month with awards (Safi Organics - Kenya), fundings (Graphen MG - Australia, UbiQd - USA), international expansion (Kebotix - USA), new applications (Vaporsens - USA), new cooperations with major customer (BComp - Switzerland, FredSense - Canada, Ramlab - Netherlands), participation to international event (Woodoo - France) or statutory press coverage (Carbios - France, Opus 12 - USA, Vartega - USA).

As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.

Victoire de Margerie & Philippe Varin


GreenCar Congress, January 21st:
DoE awards 50M$ to 15 projects to advance critical materials innovations

Financial Times, January 22nd:
Learn from vaccines and bring better and cheaper EV batteries faster to market

GreenCar Congress, January 30th:
Lynas to build a Rare Earth Separation facility in Texas, January 31st:
Huge mining challenge especially on Nickel with Tesla ambition to sell 20 M vehicles per year before 2030


Nature Communications, January 4th:
Better energy density and longer cycle life for sodium ion batteries thanks to addition of potassium ions to the cathode at Hydro Quebec

Science News, January 5th:
A new design to make zinc air batteries rechargeable at University of Münster, January 7th:
Invisible solar panels at Incheon University in Korea

Eurekalert, January 11th:
New 2D Materials at Rice that could be developed at large scale and without the use of solvents or water for electronics applications

Science Daily, January 19th:
Concrete guidelines from Chalmers on how lithium metal batteries should be charged and operated to maximise efficiency while minimizing the risk of short circuits

Science Daily, January 26th:
Potential to double capacity of solid state batteries thanks to research project jointly developed by Tokyo and Tohoku Universities

Physics, January 29th:
Progress towards faster Quantum Computers at Berkeley


Composites World, January 6th:
A variety of projects to recycle composites in Poland, the Netherlands and France

Business Insider, January 25th:
According to CSIRO report Australia could boost its GDP by $1 billion per annum by boosting its recycling capacities by 5%

BASF News, January 29th:
Further progress of Pragati Initiative in India (involving among others Arkéma and BASF) with resulting and sizeable reduction of water consumption for production of castor as raw material for bio polymers.

GreenTechMedia, January 29th:
German coal plant transitioning to green hydrogen thanks to MHI


B Comp (N 2018), January 30th:
B Comp partners with Morand Electrical Hypercar - 2000 ps and 400km/h (in German)

Carbios (N 2017), January 20th:
Martin Stephan interviewed by Emballages Magazine

FREDsense (N 2019), January 14th:
Further news on the partnership with the port of San Diego to develop rapid monitoring of storm water

Graphen MG (N 2020), December 23rd:
One more step on the road to being listed

Kebotix (N 2019), December 17th:
New subsidiary in Canada for Kebotix

Opus 12 (N 2019), December 17th:
Etosha Cave interviewed by The Chemical Engineer

Ramlab (N 2019): January 1st:
Cooperation with Huisman to 3D print a steel offshore crane hook capable of lifting 80 metric tons

Safi Organics (N 2019), January 28th:
Social Impact Award granted by University of California

UbiQd (N 2020), January 13th:
Grant confirmed from US State of New Mexico

Vaporsens (N 2017), January 15th:
Gentex Corp. that acquired Vaporsens in 2020 is developing their technology for a smoke detector in future autonomous vehicles

Vartega (N 2020), December 14th:
About Vartega contributing to the development of Carbon Fiber Recycling industry

Woodoo (N 2017), January 11th :
One of the Top 20 French Start Ups at CES 2021