• AfghanistanTaliban to Gain Control over $1 trillion Mineral Wealth

    By Nik Martin

    To date, the Taliban have profited from the opium and heroin trade. Now the Islamist group effectively rules a country with valuable resources that China needs to grow its economy. Afghanistan’s mineral riches will also bolster China’s dominance in rare Earth elements.

  • Supply chain resilienceHybrid Cars Twice as Vulnerable to Supply Chain Disruptions as Gas-Powered Cars

    The global computer chip shortage has hit car manufacturers especially hard, indicating the importance of supply chain resilience. But hybrid and electric cars contain many other scarce elements and materials, making them more vulnerable to supply chain problems than gas-powered models.

  • Nuclear powerInvestigating Materials for Safe, Secure Nuclear Power

    By Steve Nadis

    A longstanding interest in radiation’s effects on metals has drawn Michael Short into new areas such as nuclear security and microreactors.

  • Rare Earth elements (REEs)Developing Cohesive, Domestic Rare Earth Element Technologies

    The U.S. has adequate domestic REE resources, but its supply chain is vulnerable due to dependence on foreign entities for separation and purification of these elements. DARPA program aims to fortify supply chain by utilizing bioengineering approaches to facilitate REE separation and purification.

  • Rare Earth elements (REEs)Exploring Rare Earth Elements Opportunities

    By Kate Blackwood

    The purified form of REE is primarily sourced from foreign nations, so the U.S. supply chain of the rare earth elements presents a problem. Justin Wilson, a Cornell chemistry professor, has received a DOE grant to develop more efficient methods of separating rare earth elements that will make their domestic availability economically viable.

  • ARGUMENT: Rare Earths rivalryRare Earth Metals at the Heart of China’s Rivalry with U.S., Europe

    What if China were to cut off the United States and Europe from access to Rare Earth Elements (REEs), 17 minerals with unique characteristics which are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines, drones, batteries, sophisticated military gear, and much more? This is a time of growing geopolitical friction among these three, and the United States and Europe want to change the current dependence on China, where, today, these minerals are largely extracted and refined.

  • Rare Earth elements (REEs)The Geopolitics of Rare Earth Elements

    The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed fragility in the global supply chains for not only pharmaceuticals and crucial medical supplies but also some critical minerals. Chief among them are rare Earth elements (REEs), which are necessary for clean energy equipment, advanced military gear, and consumer goods. About 80 percent of the world’s REEs are produced and refined in China.

  • Rare Earth elements (REEs)Rare Earth Supply Disruptions Have Long-Range Impacts

    Rare earth materials are essential to a variety of industries. From phones to fighter jets, a range of devices and machines rely on rare earth elements that are mined and refined largely in China. Disruptions to this supply can have wide-ranging consequences, but the understanding of how those disruptions play out in global markets is limited. A new study from explores the effects of supply disruptions such as mine shutdowns.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Rare Earth elements (REEs)The U.S. Is Trying to Reclaim Its Rare-Earth Mantle

    Rare earths elements (REEs) are used in cancer treatment and electric engines, telescope lenses and TVs, cellphones and fighter jets. Many REEs are extracted and refined almost entirely in China. The U.S. was 100% net import reliant on rare-earth elements in 2018, importing an estimated 11,130 metric tons of compounds and metals valued at $160 million. The Department of Energy is funding research to make separating rare earths easier and more efficient, and to promote recycling. “There is a clock ticking in the background of this race for a rare-earth supply chain. There is a danger that the electric vehicle market, which will demand large quantities of critical minerals including rare earths, may move faster than the rare-earth supply chain, which would feed it,” Sabri Ben-Achour writes.

  • Critical materialsE-Waste and National Security

    End-of-life circuit boards, certain magnets in disc drives and electric vehicles, EV and other special battery types, and fluorescent lamps are among several electrical and electronic products containing critical raw materials (CRMs), the recycling of which should be made law, says a new report.

  • Rare earth elementsIncreasing U.S. Production of Rare Earth Elements

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) the other day awarded $19 million for 13 projects in traditionally fossil fuel-producing communities across the country to support production of rare earth elements and critical minerals vital to the manufacturing of batteries, magnets, and other components important to the clean energy economy.

  • Rare Earth elements (REE)U.K.'s First Recycling Plant for High-Performance Rare Earth Magnets to Open

    The U.K.’s first re-manufacturing line for high-performance sintered rare earth magnets for use in electric vehicles, aerospace, renewable energy technologies and low carbon technologies will be developed by the University of Birmingham.

  • Rare Earth elements (REE)Demand for Rare-Earth Metals Is Skyrocketing, So We’re Creating a Safer, Cleaner Way to Recover Them from Old Phones and Laptops

    By Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo

    Rare-earth metals are critical to the high-tech society we live in as an essential component of mobile phones, computers and many other everyday devices. But increasing demand and limited global supply means we must urgently find a way to recover these metals efficiently from discarded products.

  • InfrastructureHigh Rises Made of Timber

    With an increasing demand for a more sustainable alternative for high-rise construction, new points to timber as a sustainable and effective way to make tall, high-density, and renewable buildings. Tall mass-timber buildings are a safe and sustainable alternative for high-rise construction,

  • InfrastructureSmart Concrete Could Pave the Way for High-Tech, Cost-Effective Roads

    By Luna Lu and Vishal Saravade

    Of the 614,387 bridges in the U.S., for example, 39% are older than their designed lifetimes, while nearly 10% are structurally deficient, meaning they could begin to break down faster or, worse, be vulnerable to catastrophic failure. The cost to repair and improve nationwide transportation infrastructure ranges from nearly US$190 billion to almost $1 trillion. Repairing U.S. infrastructure costs individual households, on average, about $3,400 every year. Traffic congestion alone is estimated to cost the average driver $1,400 in fuel and time spent commuting, a nationwide tally of more than $160 billion per year.