Author Archives: Nanthakumar Victor Emmanuel, P.Eng.

#Forbes: #ElonMusk’s #Starlink May Potentially Revolutionize Healthcare

One of the most important limiting factors for telemedicine is connectivity. Due to the same degree of distance that causes healthcare shortages in rural areas, these locations often also lack reliable and high-speed internet connections—the kind that is needed to support stable telemedicine applications and platforms.

This is where Starlink could potentially become a game-changer. If the Starlink service can indeed provide high-speed broadband internet services to rural populations, it may resolve yet another piece of the puzzle in increasing access-to-care in underserved communities. Furthermore, the applications of this technology are endless and go far beyond the American paradigm of rural healthcare. Starlink’s concept, if proven to be scalable and effective, may be able to one day provide internet worldwide, providing the opportunity for underserved communities across the globe to receive much needed medical attention.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/saibala/2020/11/27/elon-musks-starlink-may-potentially-revolutionize-healthcare/?sh=3a76d0c31e03

#CNN: #NASA begins assembling the rocket for #Artemis #moon mission

The aft segments of the Space Launch System solid rocket boosters for the Artemis I mission prepares to move from high bay 4 inside the VAB for stacking on the mobile launcher inside high bay 3.

(CNN) – NASA engineers have begun assembling the massive rocket designed to take the first woman to the moon later this decade as part of the Artemis program. The first booster segment of the Space Launch System (SLS) was stacked on top of the mobile launcher at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this week in preparation for its maiden flight, NASA said Tuesday. A total of 10 segments will form the twin solid rocket boosters before its first liftoff, which is expected to take place next year. The rocket is a key part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, which aims to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024. NASA officials also hope the SLS will be used to reach Mars and other “deep space destinations.”

Read more at: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/25/americas/nasa-sls-moon-rocket-assembly-scn-trnd/index.html

Creating higher energy density lithium-ion batteries for renewable energy applications

The researchers employed surface chemical characterization as a strategy for identifying and minimizing residual hydroxide and carbonate impurities from the synthesis of NCA (nickel, cobalt, aluminum) nanoparticles. They realized the LIB cathode surfaces first needed to be prepared by suitable annealing, a process by which the cathode nanoparticles are heated to remove surface impurities, and then locked into the desirable structures with an atomically thin graphene coating.

The graphene-coated NCA nanoparticles, which were formulated into LIB cathodes, showed superlative electrochemical properties, including low impedance, high rate performance, high volumetric energy and power densities, and long cycling lifetimes. The graphene coating also acted as a barrier between the electrode surface and the electrolyte, which further improved cell lifetime.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2020-11-higher-energy-density-lithium-ion-batteries.html

Engineer Walter Curlook was ‘Pied Piper of productivity’

Walter Curlook, seen in 1985, was a brilliant and tenacious man. Among his honours were an Order of Canada, two honorary degrees and induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

Dr. Curlook’s believed in generosity – sharing wealth to enlarge people’s horizons.

As a metallurgist, engineer and manager who spent his entire career as an executive at Inco when it was the world’s largest nickel miner, he understood how to create wealth as well as share it. Dr. Curlook held 14 patents for improvements to nickel refining and played a role in the establishment of a science centre, a college and a research facility for particle physics in Sudbury that has no equal in Canada.

Brilliant and tenacious, he never stopped working. After he retired from Inco, he became an adjunct professor in materials science and engineering (unpaid) at the University of Toronto and donated $1-million to set up two laboratories there for the study of minerals.

In his late seventies, he oversaw the construction of a nickel refinery for CVMR Corp., a Canadian mining company.

“He worked for us from 2005 to 2008, on the Jilin project [in China],” recalls Kamran Khozan, chairman and CEO of CVMR, in a phone interview. “We designed and engineered it in Canada, manufactured the parts and shipped it from here. It had to be assembled like Lego. Walter got the job done, under hostile conditions. His knowledge was not matched by anybody in the field.”

In the 1970s, Sudbury’s smelters belched thousands of tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere daily, killing vegetation and poisoning surrounding lakes. Dr. Curlook’s most important contribution might have been overseeing Inco’s $650-million pollution-abatement program that ended with the air clean, new trees planted and northern grasses growing over slag heaps.

Dr. Curlook’s commitment to research paid off in increased productivity for a reduced work force. He introduced generous bonuses for anyone with a good idea to improve efficiency. The Globe hailed him as “the Pied Piper of productivity” in a 1985 article.

In the early 1980s he was part of a group of Inco executives who started Science North in Sudbury; Inco donated $5-million for capital costs. David Pearson, the facility’s founding director, recalls that Dr. Curlook was “very supportive of what the science centre might do to encourage children along the path of innovation and achievement he had followed.”

He also supported setting up Cambrian College and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), one of only a handful in the world, which he made sure was given space deep within Inco’s Creighton Mine.

Neutrinos are neutral subatomic particles that cannot be found and studied above ground due to interference from cosmic rays. George Ewan, professor at Queen’s University, was among the physicists who visited various mines in 1983 to find a place for the proposed neutrino experiment. “Walter was very keen to see the experiment there – the decision on the Creighton mine had to go through him,” recalls Prof. Ewan, who is now retired. “He invited us to make a presentation to the directors of Inco. He also had to explain to the people in the village and the mine what we were doing. At all stages, he was a tremendous help. He tried to see the future.”

That first experiment at the SNO solved a long-standing problem in neutrino physics and may yet win a Nobel prize.

Among his many honours were an Order of Canada, two honorary degrees and induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

Read more at: https://mse.lamp4.utoronto.ca/news/in-memoriam-dr-walter-curlook-1929-2014/

#Chile’s #Codelco says to proceed with #lithium plans at Maricunga after regulator approval

SANTIAGO, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Chile state miner Codelco said on Thursday it would press ahead with a plan to search for lithium in its Maricunga salt flat holdings after receiving a green light from local environmental regulators.

Codelco said in a statement that its plan had been approved by the Atacama Environmental Assessment Commission whose members voted 10-0 to allow the plan to go ahead.

Read more at: https://br.reuters.com/article/idUKL1N2HR38J

Joint #Korean-#Australian Project Targets #China’s #RareEarth Control

A joint South Korean-Australian mineral processing research project is showing potential to eat into China’s dominance of the high-value and strategically important rare earth industry.

While in its early days, the Ziron Tech project has successfully produced two of the most important metals in the rare earth family; praseodymium and neodymium, which are used to make the permanent magnets used in electric cars and renewable energy systems.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2020/11/09/joint-koreanaustralian-project-targets-chinas-rare-earth-control/?sh=7f4082c224c6

#Bloomberg: #Biden Would Give Beaten-Up #Lithium a Boost, Top Producer Says

The lithium market would benefit from a Joe Biden victory in U.S. presidential elections, according to the biggest producer of the key ingredient in batteries for electric vehicles.

Biden, who is tightening his hold on the race for the White House, unveiled plans to spend $2 trillion on a clean energy economy, calling for more public investment in charging infrastructure and fresh tax credits to help throttle U.S. greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-06/biden-would-give-beaten-up-lithium-a-boost-top-producer-says

Critical mineral developers banking on #Biden green energy shift

#Washington | Critical minerals and rare earth miners, including an Australian-listed US lithium developer, are eyeing a potential Joe Biden administration with growing enthusiasm after his campaign signalled support for domestic production of electric vehicles, solar panels and energy storage.

They say more friendly administration policies after four years of drift would add fresh momentum to what is already happening: the emergence of America as an “electrification” giant led by companies such as Tesla and General Motors.

Read more at: https://www.afr.com/world/north-america/critical-mineral-developers-banking-on-biden-green-energy-shift-20201026-p568lp

#USGS – Critical Cooperation: How #Australia, #Canada and the #UnitedStates are Working Together to Support Critical Mineral Discovery

Just as alloys make steel stronger, research allies make mineral science better. Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada, and the USGS are coordinating their critical mineral mapping and research efforts to create a shared foundation of mineral information to help ensure a safe and secure supply of the materials needed for each country’s economy and security.

Read more at: https://www.usgs.gov/news/critical-cooperation-how-australia-canada-and-united-states-are-working-together-support

#Reuters: #BHP delays sulphate output, pushes green battery supply chain

BHP said in August last year that it planned to start nickel sulphate production at its Kwinana plant, south of Perth, by the second quarter of 2020, before development was delayed due to complex engineering required to make the high purity product.

“We expect to have first crystals in the second half of this financial year,” asset president Eddie Haegel told the Diggers and Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, according to a copy of his speech.

Nickel makes batteries energy dense so cars can run further on a single charge.

As buyers seek low carbon choices, BHP is focusing on improving the environmental footprint of the operations, Haegel said.

“Our customers and future customers are increasing their demand for clean nickel products and a clean supply chain, so having the best assets also means addressing our Scope 1 and 2 emissions,” Haegel said, referring to direct and indirect carbon emissions such as those that come from power use.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/bhp-nickel/bhp-delays-sulphate-output-until-1h-2020-pushes-green-battery-supply-chain-idUSL8N2H41NK

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