In the field of critical resources, battery metals are once more in the spotlight, with a thorough review of Europe and USA progress to reach the level of China in the EV batteries supply chain (Energy-storage.news), some scenarios about the 5 key battery metals altogether (ING in Mining.com) as well as a true optimistic perspective on the high quality of battery recycling (IEEE Spectrum) and a Brazilian view on the future green supply of lithium (Mining.com). Not to forget Magnesium which current supply shortage from China impacts European metal industries (Green Car Congress). Last but not least, two potential solutions to tackle water scarcity with electro active bacteria used for off-grid desalination (EEC Horizon) and hydro panels that could bring clean water out of the atmosphere (The Guardian).
Further on the scientific front with a variety of innovations: a new building material out of recycled cement and CO2 from the air at University of Tokyo, two new techniques for battery metals recycling at RICE University and KTH University, atomic-scale exciton and therefore ultra low energy electronics developed by FLEET, a hydrogel tablet for purifying contaminated water at University of Texas, new insights on spintronics for ultra fast data storage by Helmholtz Association, breakthrough AI-based quantum computing at Osaka University, new path to lower cost and sustainable manufacturing of titanium at Berkeley National Laboratory and a wood-based material for safer batteries achieved at Brown University.
On the sustainability front, we picked 5 initiatives: an overall review of strategies to decarbonize building materials in Nature Communications, a precast concrete pilot project in the UK that demonstrates 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by optimizing all process steps on the supply chain in IOM3, Hydro Power at Kamoa Copper as a major step towards green mining in the DRC in Mining Weekly, a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation to assess the uncertainties regarding gaseous fuels' roles in meeting EU climate goals and lastly a demonstration in Nature that addressing EV weight reduction is crucial and feasible.
And finally, a lot has been happening on the side of our WMF Start Up Alumni with 24 of them being in the news this month. As usual,some open positions (Applied Nano Layers - NL, Demeta - France, Rein4ced - Belgium), new funding rounds (BackLeaf - France, Cold Pad - France), interesting press coverage (Brimstone Energy - USA, Carbios - France, CompPair - Switzerland, Nawa Technologies - France, Nitricity - USA, Ramlab - NL), award-winners (Nelumbo - USA), founders interviewed (C12 Quantum Electronics - France, EH Group - Switzerland, Fluence Analytics - USA, Graphene MG - Australia, Kebotix - USA, Twelve - USA, Woodoo - France) and last but not least, some promising collaborations (Cypris Materials - USA with BASF, Graphene MG - Australia with BOSCH, Polystyvert - Canada with COEXPAN, UbiQD - USA with National Renewable Energy Lab, UBQ Materials - Israel with BAZAN and Vartega - USA with Aditya Birla Advanced Materials).
As always, we hope you will enjoy the reading.
The WMF Editorial Team, Victoire de Margerie, Valentin Desbuis & Sélène Ciancioni
European Commission, September 30th: Progress on water desalination
Kebotix (N 2019), September 29th: Kebotix in a Bloomberg podcast to announce a 15 million dollar partnership grant with the National Science Foundation, plus an internal discovery that can lead to more efficient glass !