Securing the supply of raw materials is now a clear priority for the USA and Europe: we include an analysis of the US Inflation Reduction Act (Mayer Brown) as well as the official announcement of the European Critical Raw Materials Act. Innovation is also progressing be in the processing of mining waste (Recharge) or by recycling of battery production scrap (Benchmark Minerals). And also 2 new challenges lie ahead: boron as a new critical mineral (Mining.Com) and water scarcity facing data centers (KQED).
Plenty of news as well on the scientific front: a new low-cost battery with no critical material at the MIT, spintronics-based hydrogen production at University of Münster, green steel progress in China in Nature Materials, “Quantum bus” built at Jülich Forschungszentrum, propylene based on recycled PE at Berkeley published in Science, C02 into ethylene thanks to water electrolysis at University of Illinois and a review of Quantum materials innovation in Nature Materials. Last but not least, an opinion column in Nature with three world known scientists presenting cutting-edge energy solutions.
Regarding sustainability initiatives, we have chosen to highlight: BASF and ARCUS partnering for the first pyrolysis plant from mixed plastic waste in Germany, Berkeley Lab's newest innovation in e-waste recycling, ONRL co-developing more reliable microgrids in Puerto Rico, MHI new carbon capture unit at Hiroshima biomass power plant and finally, the French Green Hydrogen Plan to foster and fund H2 gigafactories.
Also 23 of our Start Up alumni were in the news this month : some partnerships announced or ongoing (Bcomp - Switzerland with Lufthansa, Citrine Informatics - USA with Eastman, UbiQD - USA with SCIPA, Twelve - USA with Virgin Voyages, Alaska Airlines and Microsoft), a successful funding round (Sylvatex - USA), a few awards (Brimstone Energy - USA, Carbios - France), a lot of interesting press articles as usual (Aerosint - Belgium, Applied Nanolayers - Netherlands, BeFC - France, Blackleaf - France, CompPair - Switzerland, Demeta - France, Intropic Materials - USA, Kebotix - USA, Nitricity - USA, Primo1D - France, Safi Organics - Kenya, Sakowin - France, Sylvatex - USA, UBQ Materials - Israel) and to finish some significant scale-ups (Graphene MG - Australia, Inopsys - Netherlands, Keey Aerogel - France).
As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.
The WMF Editorial Team. Victoire de Margerie, Sélène Ciancioni & Valentin Desbuis
KQED, August 30th: Data centers, backbone of the digital economy, face water scarcity and climate risk