World Materials Forum
Newsletter 42

Dear all

Lots of news as usual in the field of critical materials: 3 innovative ways of recovering critical metals from waste (Science, LL National Lab and Waste Management), a column about China's tax policies on rare earths (Quartz), 2 papers on US strategies for securing its supply chain of critical materials (Nikkei Asia and DoE) and the 2022-list of 50 critical materials published by US Geological Survey. Finally, an analysis on the potential shortages linked to the war in Ukraine (The Conversation).

Further on the scientific front with a wide variety of innovations such as 2 new chemical pathways for hydrogen production at Riken and at University of California, graphene for lower cost micro chips at University of Sussex and new contribution to graphene Spintronics at University of Manchester, an electron microscope for magnetic forces co-built by Tokyo and Monash Universities and an update on the race to build best in class quantum computers by IEEE Spectrum

In the field of sustainability, we have chosen 5 initiatives : solar powered system for cheap desalination at MIT, historical shut down of the biggest Australian coal-fired station highlighted in the Guardian, a free EV-battery recycling program launched in California by Ford, Volvo and Redwood, Japanese new R&D project for green hydrogen by photosynthesis as explained in Nikkei Asia and lastly the first solar canal project in California detailed in The Conversation.

Finally 20 of our WMF Start Up Alumni were in the news this month. A combination of funding rounds or grants (EH Group - Switzerland, Twelve - USA, Zeta - USA), scale-up & development announcements (Carbios - France, Cycladex - USA, Fluence Analytics - USA, Inopsys - Netherlands), some exciting partnerships (Cycladex with Glen Eagle, PolySpectra with Keyland Polymer, UBQ Materials with Nestlé & PepsiCo), a few CEOs interviews (Brimstone Energy - USA, Nelumbo - USA, Woodoo - France), two award winners (EH Group - Switzerland, Kebotix - USA) as well as interesting press coverage (Aerosint - Belgium, Applied Nanolayers - Netherlands, Brimstone Energy - USA, C12 QE - France, CompPair - Switzerland, Cuberg - USA, Safi Organics - Kenya, UBiQD - USA, Woodoo - France).

As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.

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


Science, February 9th:
Using flashes of electric heat to extract rare earth from industrial waste at Rice University

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, February 10th:
US collaborative industry academia project to use proteins and extract rare earths from ore based feedstock

Nikkei Asia, February 22nd:
Biden set to tout U.S progress on critical mineral production including support to MP Materials and Redwood projects

USGS, February 22nd:
U.S Geological Survey releases 2022 list of 50 critical materials

Quartz, February 23rd:
How China uses tax policies to defend its rare earths monopoly

Department of Energy, February 24th:
DOE releases first ever comprehensive strategy to secure America's clean energy supply chain

The Conversation, February 24th:
Expected shortages due to war in Ukraine

Waste Management, March 2022:
Chalmers recommendations to optimize the recycling of EV batteries


IEEE Spectrum, February 2nd:
The race to build a fault-tolerant superconducting quantum computer

University of Manchester, February 10th:
New contribution to the field of graphene spintronics

Riken, February 15th:
A new, sustainable way to make hydrogen for fuel cells and fertilizers

University of Sussex, February 15th:
Wrapping droplets in graphene for lower cost printed microchips and wearable sensors

University of California, February 18th:
Aluminium nanoparticles for rapid, efficient hydrogen generation from water, February 24th:
Visualization of the origin of magnetic forces by atomic resolution electron microscopy at Tokyo and Monash Universities


MIT, February 14th:
Solar-powered system offers a route to inexpensive desalination

The Guardian, February 16th:
Australia's biggest coal power plant to close 7 years earlier

TechCrunch, February 17th:
Ford, Volvo join Redwood Materials to launch free EV battery recycling program in California

Nikkei Asia, February 18th:
Japan to kick-start artificial photosynthesis R&D to use solar energy and generate clean burning hydroge

The Conversation, February 22nd:
First solar canal project is a win for water, energy, air and climate in California


Aerosint (N 2017), February 16th:
Aerosint featured in 3D Adept Mag on 3D printing (cf p.7 to 11)

Applied Nanolayers (N 2020), February 3rd:
Focus on Applied Nanolayers, Get your freshly baked graphene in Delft

Brimstone Energy (Grand Prix 2020), February 8th:
Cody Finke interviewed in Superpower for Good Podcast

Brimstone Energy (Grand Prix 2020), February 3rd:
Brimstone Energy highlighted on the Seattle Academy website

C12 Quantum Electronics (N 2021), February 14th:
C12 Quantum Electronics, unique quantum processors in the world highlighted in Sciences & Vie (FR)

Carbios (N 2017 - Grand Prix Scale Up 2021), February 23rd:
Carbios to build in France its first-of-a-kind manufacturing plant for fully bio-recycled PET in partnership with Indorama Venture

CompPair (N 2020), February 25th:
CompPair's healable composite materials make a splash on Gunboat catamaran

Cuberg (Grand Prix 2018), February 2nd:
Cuberg CEO gives hints on what it'll take to get electric planes flying in this Wired article

Cycladex (N 2017), January 27th:
Cycladex to Deploy Carbon-Cutting Equipment at Mauritanian Gold Mine

Cycladex (N 2017), February 23rd:
Cycladex to partner with Glen Eagle and deploy its green technology

EH Group (Coup de Coeur Award 2020), February 7th:
EH Group receives a fit tech growth loan of CHF 500,000 for its fuel cell technology

EH Group (Coup de Coeur Award 2020), February 22nd:
EH Group Rewarded in the Hyaccelerator Program led by Snam

Fluence Analytics (N 2019), February 23rd:
Fluence Analytics Announces New Biopharma Analysis Product

Inopsys (N 2021), February 1st:
InOpSys is opening a subsidiary in Basel

Kebotix (N 2019), February 9th:
Kebotix wins the 2022 New Product Award from the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening

Nelumbo (N 2020), January 25th:
Focus on Nelumbo in the Lab To Startup Podcast

PolySpectra (N 2018), February 25th:
PolySpectra and Keyland Polymer partner to 3D print consumer goods

Safi Organics (N 2019), February 19th:
Safi Organics, A Life-Changing Fertilizer for Rural Farmers in Kenya

Twelve (N 2019), February 10th:
Twelve receives $20 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to scale technology and work towards a fossil-free future

UbiQD (N 2020), February 17th:
UbiQD says its greenhouse tech can lead to increased crop growth

UBQ Materials (N 2021), February 25th:
UBQ Materials partners with PepsiCo to transform organic waste into sustainable pallets

UBQ Materials (N 2021), February 28th:
Osem-Nestlé teams up with UBQ Materials to create sustainable pallets for shipping and logistics

Woodoo (N 2017), February 14th:
Woodoo in the spotlight in Direct Industry e-Magazine

Woodoo (N 2017), February 10th:
Woodoo founder & CEO interviewed by Seltech at CES 2022

Zeta (N 2020), February 18th:
23M $ Series A funding to build their pilot unit in Houston