World Materials Forum
Newsletter 51

Dear all,

Critical materials are once more the center of attention with a focus on some countries developing new supply positions be Australia for silicon raw materials ( or Africa and Vietnam for rare earth elements (Brookings and Argus Media). Also some interesting analysis about critical energy minerals and their associated geopolitical tensions (Energy Magazine and Reuters) as well as an overview of global lithium production over the past 25 years (Visual Capitalist). Last but not least, some clarification about eligible EVs and eligible countries for the US Inflation Reduction Act - LFP batteries qualify even though iron and phosphate are not listed as critical minerals (US Treasury Department).

Now on the scientific front with new bioplastics developed through a common project of University of Amsterdam, Lego and Avantium (Nature Communications), cobalt free cathodes at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, lithium vanadium oxide anodes at Yokohama and Kyoto Universities (Nature Materials), more safety for Li Ion batteries at Standford and SLAC (Materials Today), further improvement in throughput and power consumption thanks to spintronics at Tohoku, Messina and Santa Barbara Universities, liquid tin to mitigate corrosion of nuclear reactors (Tokyo Institute of Technology), epigraphene platform for nanoelectronics at Georgia Tech (Nature Communications). And of course the great news as for the first time we got more energy from nuclear fusion than the laser energy used to drive it (LLNL).

Regarding sustainability initiatives we chose to highlight a review on electronic wastes and their possible contribution to sustainability (Nature), a breakthrough solar desalination technology (Ural Federal University), an AI platform to drive more sustainable urban centers in development in Switzerland (EPFL), new paths to produce fertilisers without CO2 emissions and new recycled concrete aimed to build post-war Ukraine (ETH Zürich). And finally how to harvest heat from data centers for heating urban areas (CleanTechnica)

Also 15 of our Start Up alumni were in the news this month with a series C financing (Citrine Informatics - USA), tech growth funding (CompPair - Switzerland, Nitricity - USA), many partnerships announced or ongoing (Bcomp - Switzerland with Super Formula, Citrine Informatics - USA with Elektroninks, Cold Pad - France with companies in Singapore, UK and Angola, UbiQD - USA with the NASA), some awards or nominations (BeFC - France, FREDsense - USA,Lixo - France), some significant scale-ups (Carbios - France, Cycladex - USA, FREDsense - USA, Graphene Manufacturing Group - Australia) and many interesting press articles as usual (UBQ Materials - Israel, Woodoo - France, Zeta Energy - USA).

As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.

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

Developing a supply chain for silicon key to Australia's leadership in solar energy

Energy Magazine, December 14th:
Critical energy minerals: an Australian view

Reuters, December 23rd:
East West battleground will shift from fossil fuels to metals

Visual Capitalist, December 23rd:
25 years of lithium production per country

Brookings, December 29th:
A review of exploration budgets per region - Africa as a future world source of rare earth elements

US Treasury Department, December 29th:
Some clarification about the Inflation Reduction Act

Argus Media, December 29th:
South East Asia and particularly Vietnam as a future world source of rare earth elements


Nature Communications, November 30th:
An important step towards strong and durable biobased plastics at University of Amsterdam, Lego and Avantium

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 5th:
Hydrothermal synthesis of cobalt free cathodes for better, cheaper cathodes lithium-ion batteries at ONRL

Tohoku University, December 8th:
Further improvement in throughput and power consumption thanks to Spintronics at Tohoku, Messina and Santa Barbara Unis

Nature Materials, December 12th:
Lithium vanadium oxide as new anode material that barely changes in volume during the charge/discharge process at Yokohama and Kyoto Universities

LLNL, December 14th:
National Ignition Facility achieves fusion ignition

Tokyo Institute of Technology, December 15th:
Mitigating corrosion by liquid tin could lead to better cooling in fusion reactors

Nature Communications, December 19th:
Epigraphene at Georgia Tech as a technologically viable graphene platform that has the potential to succeed silicon nanoelectronics

Materials Today, December 20th:
Improving safety of Li-Ion batteries at SLAC and Stanford


Nature, November 16th:
An interesting review on electronic wastes and their possible contribution to sustainability

The Brighter Side of the News, December 12th:
Breakthrough solar desalination technology extracts 400% more salt from seawater

EPFL, December 18th:
Swiss consortium builds an AI platform to drive more sustainable urban centers and test it in Aigle

ETH Zürich, December 19th:
Some routes towards producing fertilisers without CO2 emissions

ETH Zürich, December 20th:
Ukrainian Prof. proposes recycled concrete to build post-war Ukraine

CleanTechnica, December 29th:
Harvesting excess heat from data centers to improve heating of urban centers


Bcomp (N 2018), December 16th:
Bcomp and Super Formula announce sustainable fiber composite bodywork

BeFC (N 2022), December 29th:
BeFC's paper-based biofuel cell for the IoT market

BeFC (N 2022), January 3rd:
BeFC receives CES innovation awards for the third consecutive year

Carbios (N 2017 - Grand Prix Scale Up 2021), December 15th:
Carbios Publishes 1st Sustainability Report

Carbios (N 2017 - Grand Prix Scale Up 2021), December 9th: Carbios Hosts World's 1st PET Biorecycling Summit

Citrine Informatics (Grand Prix 2017), November 30th:
Citrine Informatics partners with Electroninks to Develop Enhanced Silver Ink Using AI-Assisted R&D

Citrine Informatics (Grand Prix 2017), January 4th:
Citrine raises 16 M$ in Series C

COLD PAD (N 2020), December:
COLD PAD signs strategic partnership with Singaporian company SLR

COLD PAD (N 2020), December:
COLD PAD signs strategic partnership with UK company Integrity

COLD PAD (N 2020), December:
COLD PAD and OG3S Mecanica Lda announce the signature of a strategic partnership agreement in Angola

CompPair (N 2020), December:
CompPair gets a FIT Tech Growth loan for its HealTech technology

CompPair (N 2020), December 14th:
CompPair and its durable and repairable composites interviewed on the Swiss radio (FR)

Cycladex (N 2017), December 5th:
Cycladex develops news lithium technology

FREDsense (N 2019), December 2nd:
FREDsense Named One of Canada's Most Investable Cleantech Ventures by Foresight Canada

FREDsense (N 2019), December 16th:
FREDsense field test kit used in Israel shows lab-quality results for worldwide application

Graphene MG (N 2020), December 12th:
GMG Invests $AU 600,000 to Accelerate Battery Pouch Cell Customer Testing & Development in 2023

Lixo (N 2021), December 12th:
Veolia and Lixo win the #DAG2022 award for their collaboration to tackle waste recovery (FR)

Nitricity (Grand Prix 2021), December 15th:
Frontier facilitates second round of carbon removal purchases, Nitricity receives R&D grant

UBiQD (N 2020), December 5th:
UbiQD Receives NASA Contract, US Patent for Greenhouse Tech

UBQ Materials (N 2021), December 12th:
VP of Sustainability at UBQ Materials interviewed about landfill waste and circular economy

Woodoo (N 2017), December 26th:
(Re)Discover the story of Woodoo in this Timber Pioneers article

Zeta Energy (Special Award Critical Materials 2020, Coup de Coeur Scale Up 2022), December 28th:
Tom Pilette to Transition to Chief Executive Officer of Zeta Energy