🌍 Global Distribution of Critical Minerals – Slideshow

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) published in 2017 the report “Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply” edited by Klaus J. Schulz , John H. DeYoung Jr. , Robert R. Seal II , and Dwight C. Bradley.

This comprehensive book presents resource and geologic information on the following 23 mineral commodities currently among those viewed as important to the national economy and national security of the United States: antimony (Sb), barite (barium, Ba), beryllium (Be), cobalt (Co), fluorite or fluorspar (fluorine, F), gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), graphite (carbon, C), hafnium (Hf), indium (In), lithium (Li), manganese (Mn), niobium (Nb), platinum-group elements (PGE), rare-earth elements (REE), rhenium (Re), selenium (Se), tantalum (Ta), tellurium (Te), tin (Sn), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), and zirconium (Zr).

Their research provides an enlightening overview of the occurrence of these critical minerals throughout the world and helps in understanding the geostrategic importance of some of them.

Link to website with extensive reports on all 23 minerals

 

The very recommendable North American online publisher visualcapitalist.com put it nicely in an insightful infographic.

Link to original

critical-minerals-usa

🇬🇧 Bioplastic made from waste polyethylene

Researchers at the University of Wolverhampton have turned waste plastic into biodegradable resins for medical and consumer products. Post-consumer polyethylene was converted into a pliable wax substance for use in plastic-alloys, turning it into a high-value bioplastic.

Dr. Iza Radecka, Reader in Biotechnology at Wolverhampton’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, and her colleague Professor Marek Kowalczuk are further testing the plastics. Possible uses includ mulch for farming, a ‘scaffolding’ on which to grow human cells and for items such as pens or bags.

Radecka said: “Mountains of plastic waste, including carrier bags, packaging and medical plastic wastes are buried in landfill sites around the world each year. Unfortunately, plastics produced by the petrochemical industry are not biodegradable and therefore accumulate in the environment at a rate of more than 25 million tonnes per year. This continues to pose a growing challenge for authorities at both the local and national level.”

Waste Polyethylene (PE) is a potential carbon source that could be utilised to make value-added biopolymers, particularly as it is the most commonly produced plastic, making up over 29 per cent of worldwide plastic manufacture, while only 10 per cent of it is recycled.”

“Bacterial polymers such as Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a group of biocompatible, environmentally neutral, biodegradable plastics that can be produced by certain bacteria. The structure of the PHAs can be adapted for a wide range of medi­cal applications, especially implants, including heart valve tissue engineering, vascular tissue engineering, bone and cartilage tissue engineering, as well as nerve conduit tissue engineering.”

The University has joined the Centre of Polymer Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences in Poland; the Fraunhofer UMSICHT in Germany; the University of Bologna, Italy; the Department of Chemical Organic Technology and Petrochemistry at the Silesian University of Technology, Poland, and Recycling Technologies, in Swindon.

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🇺🇸 New battery leaching method closing in on 100% metals recovery

American Manganese Inc.’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process is able to extract almost 100% of lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and aluminium from rechargeable batteries. This sounds promising, given that the worldwide lithium-ion battery market alone is worth over US$16.5 million a year.

A recent testing programme conducted in collaboration with Kemetco Research has confirmed that all the commonly used rechargeable electric battery cathode materials can be leached using American Manganese Inc.’s special hydrometallurgical process.

‘The valuable metals can then be recovered by either discrete product or co-product precipitation, depending on which flowsheet is being used,’ comments Larry Reaugh, president and CEO of American Manganese Inc.

‘The test work is proceeding on schedule and on budget, and the results to-date are in line with our expectations,’ adds Norman Chow, president of Kemetco Research Inc. He expects the patent for this process will be submitted by November this year.

Source: http://www.recyclinginternational.com/recycling-news/10611/e-scrap-and-batteries/united-states/new-us-battery-leaching-method-closing-100-metals-recovery

For more information visit www.americanmanganeseinc.com

🇺🇸 MIT researchers develop new way to clear pollutants from water

Electrochemical method can remove even tiny amounts of contamination.

Source: MIT researchers develop new way to clear pollutants from water