World Materials Forum
Newsletter 58

Dear all,

Building critical materials supply chains is creating tensions as well as new opportunities: further developing green aluminium has a cost (Reuters), US discussed ‘creative ways’ to help Mongolia export rare earths (Reuters), Greenland’s independence would mean some changes for the Arctic (Council for Foreign Relations), China’s rare earth export controls could impact Japan (The Diplomat) and EU has various strategic options for ensuring critical raw materials security (Allianz Trade), and there are innovative ways to eco-friendly extract critical rare earths elements (Penn. State University). 

Now on the scientific front with a wide range of innovations such as bioplastics easier to compost at Michigan State University, nonlinear circuit using graphene to harvest clean power at Arkansas University, machine learning to optimize battery lifetime at Stanford, game-changing thin-film solid-state electrolyte at UC San Diego, energy-storing supercapacitors using cement and carbon black at MIT, advanced magnesium-based hydrogen storage materials on and progress report about fusion on IEEE Spectrum.

As to sustainability, we selected 6 initiatives: Solar to power Rio Tinto's Canadian mine, using methane and recycling CO2 into energy at UCF, using Machine learning to predict future crop water needs in real-time at CSIRO, Wind-to-Hydrogen Tech going to Sea, turning agricultural waste into valuable raw materials and developing advanced fast charge protocols to suppress plating and shorten the constant voltage regime of graphite electrodes at UCL.

Additionally, 10 of our Start-Up alumni were in the news this month: with one great news as our WMF Start Up Grand Prix (Mitrachem, USA) just raised 60M$, a strategic partnership (UBIQD - USA with First Solar), another successful funding round (GRAPHENEMG - Australia), an award (C-QUESTER - USA) and a lot of exciting press articles as usual (BRIMSTONE ENERGY - USA, BCOMP - Switzerland, GRAPHENEMG  - Australia, PEROVSKIA SOLAR - Switzerland, POLYSTYVERT - Canada, SYLVATEX - USA, WOODOO - France, ZETA ENERGY - USA).

As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.

The WMF Editorial Team,
Victoire de Margerie, Nadja Leclere & Valentin Desbuis


Allianz Trade, August 1st:
Report concerning EU strategy about critical raw materials security

Reuters, August 4th:
Green aluminium can be costly

Reuters, August 4th:
US discussed 'creative ways' to help landlocked Mongolia export rare earths

Penn. State University, August 9th:
Mussels inspire an eco-friendly way to extract critical rare earth elements

Council for Foreign Relations, August 10th:
What would Greenland's independence mean for the Arctic

The Diplomat, August 18th: 
How will China's rare earth export controls impact Japan


MIT, July 31st:
MIT engineers create an energy-storing supercapacitor from cement and carbon black

UC San Diego, August 3rd:
Game-changing thin-film solid-state electrolyte 

IEEE Spectrum, August 3rd:
Fusion is having a moment

Michigan State University, August 5th:
Making bioplastics that are easier to compost, August 15th:
Exploring advanced magnesium-based hydrogen storage materials and their applications

University of Arkansas, August 16th:
Scientist from University of Arkansas design nonlinear circuit to harvest clean power using graphene

Joule, August 24th:
Machine learning to optimize battery lifetime at Stanford

Solar plant to power Rio Canadian mine

CleanTechnica, August 15th: 
One new route to use methane and recycle CO2 into energy at UCF

CSIRO, August 16th: 
Machine learning to predict future crop water needs in real-time 

IEEE Spectrum, August 19th: 
Wind-to-Hydrogen Tech Goes to Sea

ETHZ, August 22nd: 
Turning agricultural waste into valuable raw materials

Nature Communications, August 24th: 
Developing advanced fast charge protocols to suppress plating and shorten the constant voltage regime of graphite electrodes at UCL


BRIMSTONE ENERGY (Grand Prix 2020), August 5th:
Brimstone’s carbon negative cement lands first industry certification

C-QUESTER (N 2023), August 1st:
C-QUESTER receives Caltech's 2023 Rocket Fund award

BCOMP (N 2018), Jul 25th: 
Floating Into the Future: ‘Blue Nomad’ Harnesses the Power of Bcomp’s ampliTex™ Flax Fibres

GRAPHENEMG (N 2020), July 28th:
Graphene Manufacturing Group Announces Appointment of Interim CFO and Director

GRAPHENEMG (N 2020), August 16th:
Graphene Manufacturing Group announces closing of $3.45M overnight marketed offering, including exercise in full of the over-allotment option

MITRACHEM (Grand Prix 2023), August 22nd:
Mitra Chem raises $60M

PEROVSKIA SOLAR (N 2022), August 17th:
Perovskia Solar - 2nd place Industrials & Engineering venture 2023

POLYSTYVERT (Prix Coup de Coeur 2018), August 16th:
Polystyvert announces the appointment of Evan Price as the director and chairman of the board

SYLVATEX (Coup de Coeur 2022), July 25th:
Sylvatex ranked within the top 24 climate tech ventures

UBIQD (N 2020), August 16th:
UbiQD and First Solar Expand Work on Quantum Dot-Enhanced Solar Modules

WOODOO (N 2017), August 17th:
WOODOO aims to replace steel, concrete, glass and plastics with wood-based materials

ZETA ENERGY (SPECIAL AWARD CRITICAL MATERIALS 2020, Coup de Coeur Scale Up 2022), August 1st:
Zeta Energy Begins Extreme Temperature Testing of its Lithium-Sulfur Batteries for ARPA-E Project