The momentum is still high for this month of February.
Critical materials are at the center of geopolitical attention with first decisions announced by Joe Biden, a statutory speech by Ursula von der Leyden, 2 solid papers on battery materials by the Wall Street Journal and the Mobilist, a comprehensive review on copper by analyst firm Alpine Macro and a change of order in the last Fraser mining survey with Nevada and Arizona now ranked 1st in terms of investment attractiveness - before Australia and Canada.
Further on the scientific front with a variety of innovations such as new biopolymers easy to depolymerize at Universities of Groningen and Shanghai, more energy efficient chemical recycling of polyethylene at University of Konstanz, fine tuning of electrode surface and resulting optimization of solar fuel production thanks to a cooperation between 3 US universities, a full review of technology and processes of lithium extraction from geothermal brines by Berkeley Scientists, progress towards sodium solid state batteries at UC San Diego... and a 2D model developed at Rice University that could accelerate push for more energy efficient spintronic devices.
On the sustainability front, we picked 3 examples: Rio Tinto partnering with Paul Wurth and SHS to develop low carbon iron feedstock for steel, Hydro and Northvolt starting the construction of their joint batteries recycling plant... and the largest US green hydrogen facility to be built by Plug Power in New York.
Finally 18 (!) of our great Start Up Alumni are also in the news this month with nominations (EH Group - Switzerland, Opus 12 - USA, Radical Plastics - USA, Spin Ion - France ), grants (Cuberg - USA, Sepion Technologies - USA), acceptance in accelerator program (Momentum Technologies - USA), new cooperations with major partner (Citrine - USA, Polystyvert - Canada), or media coverage (Carbios - France, CompPair - Switzerland, Cypris Materials - USA, Kebotix - USA, Mosaic Materials - USA, Nawa Technologies - France, Safi Organics - Kenya, UbiQd - USA, Vaporsens - USA).
As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.
Victoire de Margerie & Philippe Varin
Wall Street Journal, February 5th: The Battery is Ready to Power the World
Science Daily, February 4th: New polymers from lipid acid jointly developed by the Universities of Groningen and Shanghai. These polymers are easily depolymerized under mild conditions. Some 87 percent of the monomers can be recovered in their pure form and re-used to make new polymers of virgin quality.