Welcome back for this dense Summer Newsletter covering both July & August, with lots of news as usual in the field of critical materials: breakthroughs resulting in reduced platinum consumption (Hong Kong UST and Utrecht University), methods to extract rare earth from industrial wastes (Estonia and Penn State University), a review of the mining potential of Arctic (Geographical), a survey about China moving up the rare earth value chain (Brink) and an interesting overview about who controls the value chains of minerals needed for green energy (PIIE). And also, last but no least, a paper co authored by the French Geological Survey and proposing a methodological approach for sustainable lithium certification (Nature).
Now on the scientific front with great news in the field of plastics recycling - be indefinitely recyclable PDK newly invented by our WMF Grand Prix 2022 (Berkeley) or a new method to recycle our good old polystyrene (VirginiaTech), further progress on materials for solar energy (NREL and EPFL), less heat treatment for more energy efficient aluminium extrusion at PNNL, a Korean research on using graphene to monitor CO2/methane emissions (Nature Materials), Qudits invented at University of Innsbruck in order to improve Quantum efficiency and a breakthrough in gas separation and storage leading to more efficient green hydrogen production at Deakin University.
Also we chose to highlight 7 sustainability initiatives: an analysis on longer lasting EV batteries and the impact on the development of EV batteries recycling in Forbes, a review of recycled batteries performance for second-life applications in Science Direct, the accelerated ramp up of the hydrogen economy described in IEEE Spectrum, an Australian startup using hydrogen to repurpose coal power plants in Bloomberg, recycled automotive aluminium wastes used to store hydrogen at Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, California's big plans for offshore floating wind power presented in Clean Technica and a consumer's guide to the new US Inflation Reduction Act in Politico.
Finally 23 of our Start Up alumni were in the news this month : multiple partnerships were announced (Bcomp - Switzerland with Stras, Carbios - France joining European consortium White Cycle, Carbios - France with Patagonia, Puma and Salomon, Inopsys - Netherlands with VITO, polySpectra - USA with Cerakote, Twelve - USA with Alaska Airlines and Microsoft, UBQ Materials - Israel with PepsiCo) as well as industrial investments (Graphene MG - Australia, Vartega - USA) , a successful funding round (ETS - USA) as well as some funding from the US Air Force (UbiQD - USA) or the US Department of Energy (PolySpectra - USA), new technical successes (Cuberg - USA), prestigious rankings or awards (Fluence Analytics - USA, Intropic Materials - USA, Nitricity - USA), interviews of founders (Applied Nanolayers - Netherlands, polySpectra - USA, Woodoo - France) and other interesting media coverage (Brimstone Energy - USA, B Comp - Switzerland, Citrine Informatics - USA, CompPair - Switzerland, MagREEsource - France, Polystyvert - Canada, Safi Organics - Kenya, Tiamat - France, UBQ Materials - Israel and Woodoo - France).
As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.
The WMF Editorial Team. Victoire de Margerie, Sélène Ciancioni & Valentin Desbuis
TechXplore, July 1st: Using less platinum and building the world's most durable hydrogen fuel cells at Hong Kong UST