This scientist thinks she has the key to curb climate change: super plants

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The esteemed scientist – who has long banged the climate drum and now leads a project that could lower the Earth’s temperature – is perhaps the world’s leading botanist and is on the cusp of something so big that it could truly change our planet.

“We’re trying to do something that’s a huge, complicated thing even though it sounds so simple,” Chory says. “Plants evolved to suck up CO2 and they’re really good at it. And they concentrate it, which no machine can do, and they make it into useful materials, like sugar. They suck up all the CO2, they fix it, then it goes back up into the atmosphere.”

She is now working to design plants capable of storing even more carbon dioxide in their roots. Her Ideal Plant project uses gene editing – via traditional horticulture and Crispr – to do so. On a large scale, this could suck enough carbon out of the atmosphere to slow down climate change.

This concept basically splices the genes of regular crops and everyday plants like beans, corn and cotton, with a new compound that makes them absorb more carbon. Their roots then transfer it to the soil to keep it there.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/16/super-plants-climate-change-joanne-chory-carbon-dioxide

#Climate change targets are slipping out of reach: Kemp

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LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – For all the commentary around a transition to a clean energy system, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is still continuing to rise rapidly and shows no sign of slowing down.

Climate change targets are slipping out of reach as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to march higher, leaving policymakers confronting uncomfortable choices.

If the concentration continues to rise, policymakers will have to plan for a world with significantly higher temperatures, or rely on untested strategies to remove CO2 from the air later in the century.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/energy-climatechange-kemp/column-climate-change-targets-are-slipping-out-of-reach-kemp-idUSL5N21Y4A0

#SHANGHAI (#Reuters): #Nickel shortage in view unless #China-led projects in #Indonesia succeed: analysts

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The global nickel market and its key growth sector, electric vehicle (EV) batteries, will face grave supply shortages unless key Chinese-led projects in Indonesia start up in a timely and cost-effective manner, analysts said.

“The real issue is how quickly the Chinese investors and technology can deliver these projects to the market,” Jim Lennon, senior commodities consultant at Macquarie, told the Fastmarkets Battery Materials conference in Shanghai.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-metals-nickel/nickel-shortage-in-view-unless-china-led-projects-in-indonesia-succeed-analysts-idUSKCN1RN0V3

New $135m battery research centre puts #Australia at ‘cutting edge’ of global #Lithium industry

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A new national lithium research hub in Western Australia is hoped to take the state a step closer to developing a battery manufacturing industry.

The $135 million centre, announced today, will operate out of Curtin University in Perth and will look at how to better source minerals and process them into chemicals that are used to develop batteries.

The research centre will be jointly funded by the Federal Government, the State Government and industry to the tune of $53 million.

It will also receive $82 million of in-kind support from the sector.

Read more at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-10/new-$135m-lithium-battery-research-centre-for-wa/10990222

#UnitedStates sets sights on #China in new electric vehicle push

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U.S. government officials plan to meet with executives from automakers and lithium miners in early May as part of a first-of-its-kind effort to launch a national electric vehicle supply chain strategy, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

While Volkswagen AG, Tesla Inc and other electric-focused automakers and battery manufacturers are expanding in the United States and investing billions in the new technology, they are reliant on mineral imports without a major push to develop more domestic mines and processing facilities.

China already dominates the electric vehicle supply chain. It produces nearly two-thirds of the world’s lithium-ion batteries – compared to 5 percent for the United States – and controls most of the world’s lithium processing facilities, according to data from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, which tracks prices for lithium and other commodities and is organizing the Washington, D.C., event.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lithium-exclusive/exclusive-united-states-sets-sights-on-china-in-new-electric-vehicle-push-idUSKCN1RH1TU

#Chinese electric vehicle makers are gorging on #Nickel

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Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers deployed 253% more nickel in passenger EV batteries in January this year compared to 2018.

The jump is due to an ongoing shift from lithium iron phosphate (LFP) to nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathodes.

The average EV registered in China in January 2019 contained nearly double the mass of battery metals/materials as the year prior

First generation NCM batteries contained around a third cobalt with a chemical composition of 111 – 1 part nickel, 1 part cobalt and 1 part manganese, but NCM batteries with higher nickel content (622 and 523 chemistries) have become standard in China.

The largest market for passenger EV battery nickel, ahead of Japan and the US, which were the two largest markets in January 2018. Nickel used in car batteries jumped 88% in Germany and 54% in the US year on year.

The EV boom is China is only accelerating says despite being a seasonally-slow month in January 2019, 3.27 GWh of passenger EV battery capacity was deployed in the world’s largest car market, an increase of 439% over January 2018 levels:

Even more remarkable, from January 2018 through January 2019, the sales-weighted average passenger EV battery capacity in China increased by a staggering 95%, from 14.9 kWh to 29.1 kWh, meaning that the average EV registered in China in January 2019 contained nearly double the mass of battery metals/materials as the year prior.

The price of nickel is up more than 20% in 2019 as stocks held in warehouses around the world registered with the London Metal Exchange fall to multi-year lows.

Read more at: http://www.mining.com/chinese-electric-vehicle-makers-gorging-nickel/

#CO2 Solutions – Saint-Félicien Project Update

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The CO2 capture unit is currently undergoing pre-operation verifications of each of the unit’s systems, after which the unit is expected to begin its operation and the first tonnes of CO2 are expected to be captured. Shortly thereafter, the Corporation expects to ramp up the overall capture rate to reach the unit’s nominal capacity of 30 tonnes of CO2 per day. Once the capture unit reaches its nominal capacity, a six-month demonstration period is expected to begin, after which the Corporation would begin generating revenues from the sale of the CO2 to Serres Toundra.

Read more at: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/co2-solutions-announces-fiscal-2019-second-quarter-results-and-saint-felicien-project-update-874632512.html

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