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