World Materials Forum
Newsletter 54

Dear all,

Still a strong focus this month on critical minerals with 2 papers urging to accelerate sustainable mining of these critical materials (Nature, MIT Tech Review). Some good news also with a new high grade deposit of neodymium and praseodymium in the US (Montana Standard), Japan investing a share in Lynas's mine of dysprosium and terbium in Western Australia (Asia Nikkei), EU unveiling their Critical Raw Materials Act (Reuters),Tesla working on mystery magnets without rare earths (IEEE) and a new technology proposing cobalt extraction at low temperature from recycling lithium-ion batteries (TechXplore).

And one very special paper calling for new economics of water (Nature).

On the scientific front, we highlight cutting-edge technologies such as cellulose nanocrystals used as filters to remove dye polluants in wastewater at Chalmers University of Technology, eco-friendly foams for insulating buildings at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, adding sodium bicarbonate to turn concrete into an effective carbon sink at MIT, bridging concepts of Spintronics and Ultra Fast Magnetism at Institut Jean Lamour, and a 3D printable glass made from proteins and biodegrades described in Nature. Last but not least key quantum physics are being explained in the CSIRO blog.

Also we selected 5 sustainability initiatives: a study on heat pumps vs green hydrogen for heating systems in Europe (Carbonbrief), a review of green hydrogen projects worldwide (CleanTechnica), a novel technique proposed to remove pollutants from water while using carbon nanoparticles (the Conversation), Switzerland’s initiative to roll out solar panels on railway tracks (YahooNews), and some of the key US R&D projects in the field of sustainable materials for global challenges (MIT News)

Also 11 of our Start Up alumni were in the news this month: one partnership announced (Citrine Informatics - USA with Synthomer, UBQ Materials – Israel with Honda), some successful funding rounds (Lixo – France, Applied Nanolayers - Netherland), a scale-up (Mosaic Materials - USA), and some good press coverage as usual (Carbios – France, CompPair – Switzerland, Graphene Manufacturing Group – Australia, Zeta Energy – USA, UBQ Materials – Israel, Perovskia Solar – Switzerland, Sylvatex - USA).

As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.

The WMF Editorial Team.
Victoire, Nadja & Valentin


MIT Tech Review, January 31st:
Yes we have enough materials to power the world with renewables

TechXplore, March 1st:
Extracting cobalt at low temperature from recycling of lithium-ion batteries

Montana Standard, March 8th:
Company claims US's high grade deposit of neodymium and praseodymium in Bitterroot

Asia Nikkei, March 9th:
Japan invests 135M$ to acquire 65% of dysprosium and terbium that will be produced at Lynas Mount Weld mine in Western Australia

IEEE, March 17th:
Tesla mystery magnets without rare earth

Nature, March 21st:
The US should get serious about mining critical minerals for clean energy

Nature, March 22nd:
New economics of water needed

Reuters, March 26th:
EU unveils Critical Raw Materials Act to reduce import dependency on China for key metals


Nature, March 9th:
Bridging concepts of Spintronics and ultra fast magnetism at Institut Jean Lamour

CSIRO Blog, March 14th:
Quantum explained

Chalmers University of Technology, March 23rd:
Cellulose nano crystals used as filters to remove 80 % of dye polluants in wastewater

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 23rd:
Eco-friendly foam insulates buildings without warming the globe

MIT, March 28th:
Adding sodium bicarbonate to turn concrete into an effective carbon sink

Nature, March 30th:
3D printable glass made from proteins and biodegrades


CarbonBrief, February 23rd:
Heat Pumps or Green Hydrogen: that is the question

CleanTechnica, February 26th:
A review of Green Hydrogen Project worldwide

The Conversation, March 13th:
Carbon nanoparticles to remove polluants from water

YahooNews, March 17th:
Solar panels are being rolled out on railway tracks in Switzerland

MIT News, March 23rd:
Sustainable materials for global challenges at MOT


APPLIED NANOLAYERS (N2020), March 14th:
Applied Nanolayers and Soundcell have received a 270,000-euro R&D grant from regional investment fund Uniiq

CARBIOS (N 2017 - Grand Prix Scale Up 2021), March 6th:
Carbios Joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy Network and Aims to "Make Plastic Waste and Pollution a Thing of the Past"

CARBIOS (N 2017 - Grand Prix Scale Up 2021), March 21st:
A New Prestigious Scientific Publication for Carbios Marks the Expansion of Its Research to Other Plastics

Citrine Informatics in a multi-institutional research project at MIT

CITRINE INFORMATICS (Grand Prix 2017), March 20th:
Synthomer partners with Citrine Informatics

COMPPAIR (N2020), March 10th:
CompPair adapts HealTech composites to LCM processes

GRAPHENEMG (N 2020), March 6th:
GMG Announces Initial Factory Acceptance Testing of Semi Automated Prototype Battery Cell Assembly Equipment

LIXO (N 2021), March 17th:
LIXO receives funding from Circular Valley

MOSAIC MATERIALS (N 2019), March 7th:
Mosaic Materials technologie for CO2Direct Air Capture (DAC) pilot units to accelerate DAC deployment at commercial scale

PEROVSKIA SOLAR (N 2022), March 3rd:
PEROVSKIA SOLAR among european startups lead the way in tech innovation at MWC 2023

SYLVATEX (Coup de Coeur 2022), February 24th :
Silvatex Emerges as a Key Player in the Carbon Positivity of EVs through CAM Technology

SYLVATEX (Coup de Coeur 2022), March 6th :
Sylvatex CEO explains why carbon-neutral battery manufacturing won’t happen without ‘future-proofing’ its processes

UBQ MATERIALS (N2021), March 3rd:
Honda Now Exploring UBQ’s Biobased Material

UBQ MATERIALS (N2021), March 5th:
UBQ Materials Makes Plastic from Garbage

ZETA ENERGY (SPECIAL AWARD CRITICAL MATERIALS 2020, Coup de Coeur Scale Up 2022), March 20th:
Zeta Energy's Lithium-Sulfur Battery Facility visited by U.S. Congressman Wesley Hunt