Category Archives: Related Inventions

#Nickel, #Graphite make up half #Tesla’s battery emissions

According to the Tesla’s so-called Impact Report released on Friday, nickel is by far the biggest problem in its supply chain for batteries when it comes to emissions, outpacing CO2 created by cathode manufacture and cell assembly combined. 

Tesla said it commissioned London-based consulting and software firm Minviro “to identify hotspots with high global warming potential across eight specific processing routes from which we currently source cobalt, nickel and lithium.”

The report says Tesla sources over 95% of its lithium, 50% of its cobalt and 30% of its nickel directly and that “key drivers of CO2 in its global supply chain are the cathode and anode supply chains.” 

Cobalt represents only 1%, while lithium, responsible for 13%, makes a more modest contribution than anode material graphite with the company pointing out that “chemical processing (refining / smelting) was a larger driver than mining.”

GRAPH: Nickel, graphite make up half Tesla’s battery emissions – MINING.COM

#BBC – Mine e-waste, not the Earth, say scientists

New research by the RSC also revealed a growing demand from consumers for more sustainable technology. In an online survey of 10,000 people across 10 countries, 60% said they would be more likely to switch to a rival of their preferred tech brand if they knew the product was made in a sustainable way.

The survey also suggested that people did not know how to deal with their own e-waste. Many respondents said they worried about the environmental effect of unused devices they have in their homes, but did not know what to do with them or were concerned about the security of recycling schemes.

Elements in smartphones that could run out in the next century:

  • Gallium: Used in medical thermometers, LEDs, solar panels, telescopes and has possible anti-cancer properties
  • Arsenic: Used in fireworks, as a wood preserver
  • Silver: Used in mirrors, reactive lenses that darken in sunlight, antibacterial clothing and gloves for use with touch screens
  • Indium: Used in transistors, microchips, fire-sprinkler systems, as a coating for ball-bearings in Formula One cars and solar panels
  • Yttrium: Used in white LED lights, camera lenses and can be used to treat some cancers
  • Tantalum: Used in surgical implants, electrodes for neon lights, turbine blades, rocket nozzles and nose caps for supersonic aircraft, hearing aids and pacemakers.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-61350996

#Vale signs deal with #Tesla for #Canadian #Nickel

Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Friday it has signed a long-term deal with Tesla Inc to supply the U.S.-based electric vehicle maker with nickel from its Canadian operations.

Vale did not provide financial details on the deal and did not say how long it will last.

“We are pleased to have the leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla among our customers,” Deshnee Naidoo, Vale’s executive vice president of Base Metals, said in a release. “This agreement reflects a shared commitment to sustainability and shows very clearly we are the supplier-of-choice for low-carbon and high purity nickel products essential for long-range batteries.”

The Brazilian miner said in a securities filing that the agreement involves supplying Tesla with low-carbon Class 1 nickel and is in line with its strategy of increasing its exposure to the electric vehicle industry.

Read more at: Vale signs deal with Tesla for Canadian nickel | The Daily Press (timminspress.com)

#Canada in ‘active discussions’ with EV supply chain companies – Minister

OTTAWA, May 4 (Reuters) – Canada is talking to a number of companies interested in setting up production in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain, the industry minister said, as the government seeks to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and play a role in the shift toward greener cars.

There are “very active discussions with a number of players” to develop an EV supply chain, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in an interview last week.

Canada is urging critical minerals producers and processors to scale up production. It has invested in EV projects through a multi-billion dollar fund set up in 2020, and last month pledged C$3.8 billion ($3 billion) over eight years to help boost the production and processing of critical minerals used for EVs.

Read more at: Canada in ‘active discussions’ with EV supply chain companies – minister | Reuters

#Mexico seeks #Lithium association with #Argentina, #Bolivia and #Chile

Mexico is working with governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to create a lithium association so the countries can share their expertise to exploit the battery mineral, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday.

“We’re going to work. We’re already doing so together on development, on exploration, processing, new technologies,” Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference.

Bolivia, Chile and Argentina sit atop the so-called “lithium triangle,” a region containing nearly 56% of the world’s resources of the metal, according to the most recent figures from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Read more at: Mexico seeks lithium association with Argentina, Bolivia and Chile | Financial Post

Enough #Nickel, #Lithium for 14 mln EVs in 2023 without Russian Nickel- #European climate group

May 3 (Reuters) – Data shows there is enough nickel and lithium to produce up to 14 million electric vehicles (EVs) globally in 2023, so Europe should secure more raw materials to shift away from oil faster, campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) said on Tuesday.

In a study based on BloombergNEF data on global maximum volumes of EV battery-grade nickel and lithium, T&E said that in 2025 there would be enough to make 21 million EVs globally.

Excluding Russian nickel, T&E said there should be sufficient raw materials for 19 million EVs in 2025.

Global EV sales more than doubled to 4.2 million vehicles in 2021 from just over 2 million in 2020.

Automotive consultancy LMC has forecast global EV sales will hit 9 million in 2023 and 14.2 million in 2025.

Read more at: Enough nickel, lithium for 14 mln EVs in 2023 – European climate group | Reuters

#TheWashingtonPost: #Biden order to boost mining may not have quick payoff

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is turning to a Cold War-era law to boost production of lithium and other minerals used to power electric vehicles, but experts say the move by itself is unlikely to ensure the robust domestic mining Biden seeks as he promotes cleaner energy sources.

Biden’s order directs the Defense Department to consider at least five metals — lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and manganese — as essential to national security and authorizes steps to bolster domestic supplies. Biden and former President Donald Trump both used the defense production law previously to speed the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On minerals, Biden wants to ensure the U.S. has enough lithium and other materials needed for EV batteries, heat pumps and large-capacity batteries for the electric grid. A majority of global lithium production comes from China, Australia, Argentina and Chile, while Russia dominates the global nickel market and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s largest cobalt producer.

“Unless the president streamlines permitting, we should not expect to see any meaningful increase in American mineral production,’’ said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. At a recent committee hearing. Barrasso urged Biden to “stand up to mining opponents in his own party.”

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has labeled California the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” and two projects there could produce lithium by 2024.

Read more at: Biden order to boost mining may not have quick payoff – The Washington Post

#Sumitomo Metal Mining Withdraws from #Indonesia #Nickel Project, which May Exacerbate Battery-Grade Nickel Supply Tightness

SHANGHAI, Apr 29 (SMM) – Japanese refined metals supplier Sumitomo Metal Mining has pulled out of a planned high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) project with PT Vale Indonesia, which could lead to further delays in the project, exacerbating supply risks to an already tight battery-grade nickel market. On April 25, Sumitomo Metal Mining announced the end of a nearly ten-year partnership with PT Vale to develop the project. Sumitomo Metal Mining said it had disagreements with PT Vale over construction timelines and costs. PT Vale is reportedly looking for new partners, without naming any specific companies. The two companies submitted an environmental impact study for the project as early as 2015, with construction originally expected to start in 2018 and production expected to commence in 2023. Initial plans included an annual production of 40,000 mt of mixed nickel sulphide. The nickel industry looks to HPAL technology to increase the supply of battery-grade nickel as growth from traditional sulphide sources is limited.

Read more at: Sumitomo Metal Mining Withdraws from Indonesia Nickel Project, which May Exacerbate Battery-Grade Nickel Supply Tightness _SMM | Shanghai Non ferrous Metals

Recycling needed to meet #Europe’s green metals needs-study

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – The European Union is likely to suffer severe shortfalls in lithium, rare earths and other metals needed to cut carbon emissions, but recycling could help plug the gap from 2040, according to a study released on Monday.

The issue has become even more critical due to the EU’s recent efforts to become less dependent on Russia for energy, the study commissioned by industry group Eurometaux said.

“The global energy transition is progressing faster than the mining project pipeline, with copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, and rare earths all at risk of a disruptive demand pull between now and 2035,” said the study by Belgium’s KU Leuven University.

The EU’s pledge to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 will require large amounts of metals and minerals to roll out electric vehicles and wind turbines.

The study said the bloc will need 35 times more lithium and seven to 26 times more rare earths by 2050, used in EV batteries and motors respectively.

“Europe needs to decide urgently how it will bridge its looming supply gap for primary metals,” said lead author Liesbet Gregoir.

Read more at: Recycling needed to meet Europe’s green metals needs-study | Reuters

Development of new magnet that reduces use of rare-earth element by 30%

Neodymium is an expensive and unstably supplied material, but it is essential for manufacturing rare-earth permanent magnets. In order to develop an Nd-reduced permanent magnet, the content of cerium (Ce), an inexpensive element, was increased, instead of reducing the content of Nd. Until now, with the increased content of Ce, deterioration of the magnetic properties was inevitable. The research team focused on clarifying the reason for and mechanism of the deterioration of the magnetic properties caused by the increased Ce content, and they successfully solved the problem of rare-earth-reduced permanent magnets by controlling the atomic-scale microstructure.

The researchers discovered that unnecessary magnetic particles were formed during the manufacturing process, the underlying reason for the deterioration of the magnetic and microstructural properties of the magnets. They modified the microstructure and enhanced the magnetic properties by preventing the diffusion of atoms so that the formation of unnecessary magnetic particles is suppressed.

The research team applied the melt-spinning method and the hot-deformation method, which have very fast cooling rates compared to the conventional process, to the process of fabricating rare-earth-reduced precursors and final bulk magnets, respectively. As a result, they succeeded in optimizing the microstructure of the magnets by suppressing the formation of unnecessary magnetic particles. In addition, they were able to simultaneously improve the residual magnetization and coercive force, which are the main properties of permanent magnets.

Read more at: Development of new magnet that reduces use of rare-earth element by 30% (phys.org)

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