World Materials Forum
Newsletter #36

Dear all,

Lots of news as usual in the field of critical materials: the importance of designing EV batteries is further highlighted by MIT but all (Nature, TechXPlore and Reuters) concur that it will not be enough and propose a variety of solutions to provide enough critical materials for electrification. An interesting paper as well in Green Car Congress demonstrating that blockchain could be used to trace responsible cobalt. And last but not least, alarming news about Colorado River water shortages in the Conversation.

Further on the scientific front with a wide range of innovations: two innovative ways to produce green hydrogen, ammonia-based and aluminum-based, presented by UNIST and MIT, emerging energy-efficient electronics reviewed by Monash, a new technique to control spin qubits by UNSW Sydney, 3D-printing of coils for rare-earth free electric motors by ExOne and Maxxwell Motors, splitting hydrocarbons into hydrogen and solid carbon in order to decarbonize our economy by Rice University, new chemically recyclable polymers with optimum thermal stability and strong mechanical properties at University of Akron and finally, some new tracks for rechargeable-battery optimization at Okinawa Institute. 

On the sustainability front, we picked 4 initiatives : how investors weighing 55 trillion $ are coming together to decarbonize the steel industry and how the iron ore producers answer in proposing joint projects with their customers to reduce the carbon intensity of steel making, the plan proposed by the UK for sourcing critical minerals in a responsible way, and a French initiative in extracting silver out of recycled solar panels at a competitive cost.

And finally, some good news coming from 14 of our WMF start up alumni with growth performance (Citrine Informatics – USA), progress towards the industrial scale (Carbios - France), fund raisings (Cypris Materials – USA, Fluence Analytics – USA, FREDsense Technologies – Canada, Nitricity – USA), awards & nominations (Blackleaf – France, C12 Quantum – France, EH Group – Switzerland, Inopsys – Netherlands, Lixo – France) and the latest opened positions (Aerosint – Belgium, Saratoga – South Africa, Woodoo – France).

Wishing as always that you enjoy the reading.

The WMF Editorial Team,
Victoire de Margerie, Sélène Ciancioni & Valentin Desbuis


Reuters, August 6th:
New EV battery designs unlikely to dampen metals demand, miners say

TechXplore, August 6th:
Startups, researchers race in the Wild West of electric vehicle battery recycling

Green Car Congress, August 16th:
Tracing responsibly produced Cobalt via blockchain

MIT, August 16th: 
Designing better batteries for electric vehicles 

The Conversation, August 16th: 
Water shortage in Colorado River Basin raises questions on reducing water demand

Nature, August 17th:
How will the world produce enough critical materials for electric cars and batteries?


University of Akron, August 2nd:
New method to solve plastics sustainability problem

RICE University, August 5th:
Using carbon is key to decarbonizing economy

FLEET, August 5th:
Joining topological insulators with magnetic materials for energy-efficient electronics

Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University, August 6th: 
Insight about oxygen release effect on high energy density batteries 

Phys.Org, August 12th: 
Novel technique seamlessly converts ammonia to green hydrogen, August 12th:
Using aluminum and water to make clean hydrogen fuel

UNSW Sydney, August 14th: 
Engineers make critical advances in quantum computer design

Green Car Congress, August 19th: 
Development of 3D-printed copper windings for axial flux electric motors


Critical Minerals Association, July 12th:
A Blueprint for UK Responsible Sourcing of Critical Minerals 

IIGCC, August 4th:
Investors representing over 55 trillion $ propose actions for decarbonizing the steel industry

MIT Technology Review, August 19th:
Extracting silver from old solar panels to make recycling them worth the trouble, August 30th: 
Fortescue plans carbon targets for customers in green pivot


Aerosint (N 2017), August 25th :
Aerosint is looking for an electrical engineer in Liège, Belgium

Blackleaf (N 2021), July 13th :
Blackleaf in the Top-10 Great prize i-Lab 

C12 Quantum (N 2021), July 13th :
C12 Quantum in the Top-10 Great prize i-Lab  

Carbios (N 2017 - Grand Prix Sale Up 2021), July 6th :
Carbios' gluttonous enzymes soon to reach the industrial stage

Citrine (Grand Prix 2017), July 27th : 
Citrine Informatics Reports Record Growth of its AI for Materials Platform in Q2 2021

Cypris Materials (N 2020), August 19th:
Receives a Phase II SBIR $1MM Grant from the National Science Foundation

EH Group (Coup de Coeur Award 2020), August 24th:
In the top 10 sustainable startups in transportation list

Fluence Analytics (N 2019), August 18th :
Fluence Analytics Gains Support from Yokogawa Electric, Mitsubishi Chemical in New Founding Round

FREDsense Technologies (N 2019), July 7th:
FREDsense Technologies Raises $2.5M from BDC Capital to Accelerate Their Biologically Based Water Quality Sensors

Inopsys (N 2021), August 3rd:
Receives the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label for its PIE free water solution, an award for clean and profitable solutions.

Lixo (N 2021), July 13th :
Award Winner of i-Lab in the Category Digital, Software technologies & Communication

Nitricity (Grand Prix 2021), August 12th : 
Nitricity raises $5 Million seed round to help farmers produce their own nitrogen fertilizer

Saratoga (N 2017), August 25th:
New member of the advisory panel

Woodoo (N 2017), August 23rd :  
Woodoo is hiring in France !