In The News
As the world looks to seriously curb its greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, electric vehicles are seen as one of the best solutions, with new state incentives set to encourage more drivers to make the switch. Samantha Wohlfeil
Mica is the name applied to a group of minerals that form in layers at once flexible and strong. A longtime staple of the cosmetics industry, mica is known for adding sparkle to makeup products and paints. But it’s also prized in the electronics and automotive worlds due to its ability to transmit electric force without overheating, even under extreme temperatures. NBC News reports from the Mica mines of Madagascar, where child labor and unsafe working conditions are the norm. NBC News
The demand for cobalt continues to grow as companies worldwide keep innovating. Despite the efforts of many organizations to put an end to child labor and unsafe conditions in Congolese cobalt mines, these issues persist. Industry experts expect to see 2020 demand reach 120,000 tons per year. In February 2018, cobalt prices were more than 150 percent higher than the previous year. The Washington Post
If you don’t drive an electric vehicle (EV) yet, you probably will soon. With more and more automakers going green, producing new EVs that promise greater performance and increased driving range, your next truck, sports car or crossover sport utility vehicle, is likely to be electric. But there’s a catch to this bold new world of EVs.
Whether advancing military defense technologies or space programs, rare earth elements (REEs) are crucial to innovations in flight. Ceramics containing the rare earth element cerium, for example, are central to the U.S. Space Shuttle program. Rare Earth Technology Alliance
A number of chemical elements that were once laboratory curiosities now figure prominently in new technologies like wind turbines, solar energy collectors, and electric cars. If widely deployed, such inventions have the capacity to transform how we produce, transmit, store, or conserve energy. To meet U.S. energy needs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, novel energy systems must be scaled from laboratory, to demonstration, to widespread deployment. American Physics Society