In the field of critical materials, new publications warn about risks due to a Chinese rare earth dominance (Baker Institute), a strong decrease in mining capital expenditures in 2023 (S&P Global) or a fast deployment of low carbon technologies (LSE working paper). The EU therefore urges bankers to fund suppliers of critical minerals (Reuters). Good news though with the discovery of Europe's largest deposit of REE in Sweden (EuroNews) and a new Finnish technology for improved lithium production efficiency (Mining.com). The USA is also investing on LFP batteries to be more independant (C&En) and Science News is providing us with a review of existing and new technologies in order to recycle rare earth elements.
Now on the scientific front with a great variety this month such as cheap porous polymer for water purification at DGIST, metal-organic frameworks for low temperature capture and release of ammonia at UC Berkeley, improved lifespan solar panels thanks to TiO2 coated ultra thin glass at FEP, devices made of gallium that melt and reform thanks to magnetic fields at Carnegie Mellon, new transistor materials beyond silicon - TMD - at MIT, efficient water to H2 conversion thanks to a new kind of solar panels at University of Michigan, redox-active interlayer for more efficient Li-S batteries at Argonne National Lab and some interesting questions about the packing of solid-state batteries on Battery Design.
Also we chose to highlight 6 sustainability initiatives: India's $2.3 billion project to develop green hydrogen in ABC News, a comprehensive database of all renewable energy projects and powerplants in Africa in Nature, a novel technique turning abandoned mines into long duration energy storage in IIASA, the world's first battery passport proof of concept in Mining Review Africa, an assessment of 12 carbon sequestration technologies by CSIRO and a new global commission launched in the UK in order to raise mining sustainability standards in Mining 2030.
Also 18 of our Start Up alumni were in the news this month: some impressive funding rounds (Citrine Informatics – USA, Zeta Energy – USA, MagREEsource – France, Noon Energy - USA), some partnerships announced or ongoing (Carbios – France with Novozymes, Kebotix – USA with LG Nova), many interesting press articles as usual (Citrine Informatics – USA, Woodoo – France, Fluence Analytics – USA, Brimstone Energy – USA, Graphene Manufacturing Group – Australia, Nanomakers – France, UBQ Materials – Israel, Lakril Tchnologies – USA, Perovskia Solar – Switzerland, Genes'ink – France, Sylvatex - USA) and to finish some interesting investments (an innovation lab in India for EH Group – Switzerland, and a pilot recycling plant in Grenoble for MagREEsource – France).
As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.
The WMF Editorial Team. Victoire de Margerie, Nadja Leclere & Valentin Desbuis
S&P Global, December 2nd: Planned Mining Capital spending to fall 11 billion in 2023
Tech Xplore, January 25th: Improving lifespan and efficiency of solar panels thanks to TiO2 coated ultra thin glass at Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP)