Raw materials

A ‘fin’tastic development: One-step process turns fish waste into functionalized carbon nano-onions

By Lisa McDonald / November 29, 2022

Carbon nano-onions are a newer carbon nanostructure with great potential in application, but synthesizing these materials conventionally requires high temperatures, expensive feedstock, or corrosive environments. Researchers at Nagoya Institute of Technology used a one-step microwave pyrolysis process to turn fish scales into carbon nano-onions with highly crystalline and functionalized structures.

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Video: Approval of industrial seafloor mining trial elicits scrutiny from marine scientists and journalists

By Lisa McDonald / September 14, 2022

On Sept. 7, 2022, Canadian mining startup The Metals Company announced the International Seabed Authority greenlit their plan to conduct an industrial seafloor mining trial to extract polymetallic nodules. While marine scientists are concerned about the environmental effects of deep-sea mining in general, an investigative report by The New York Times questions the choice of The Metals Company to conduct this trial.

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First glass, raw materials, plus more inside August 2022 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / July 21, 2022

The August 2022 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring formation of first glass in the universe—is now available online. Plus—USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries and refractory raw materials and sustainability.

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Video: US mining companies lay plans for domestic rare earth processing facilities

By Lisa McDonald / June 22, 2022

Mining rare earth ores is only the first step in securing the rare earths supply chain. These ores must undergo refining processes, and China controls nearly all of the world’s rare earth processing facilities. Two U.S. mining companies, MP Materials and USA Rare Earth, plan to open domestic rare earth processing facilities within the next year.

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Sensitivity coefficient may help manufacturers minimize loss when drying ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / June 7, 2022

When drying ceramics, many characteristics affect how the material will respond to moisture loss and contraction. Researchers in Brazil found that the drying sensitivity coefficient is a determining factor associated with loss content.

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Structural clay experts unite in Charlotte for networking, tours, and more after a two-year pause

By Greg Geiger / May 20, 2022

More than 100 attendees converged in downtown Charlotte, N.C., May 9–11 to take part in the combined meeting of the ACerS Structural Clay Products Division, ACerS Southwest Section, and Clemson University’s National Brick Research Center.

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Video: Tile manufacturers face clay shortages due to war in Ukraine

By Lisa McDonald / May 18, 2022

Disruptions in the energy market are not the only market forces affecting the European ceramics industry. The war in Ukraine is also driving a shortage in supplies of Ukrainian clay.

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A shocking development—electrodynamic fragmentation could provide high-quality recycled materials for the refractory industry

By Lisa McDonald / March 18, 2022

Recycling and reusing waste materials is one approach the refractories industry is pursuing to improve sustainability. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have explored the potential of electrodynamic fragmentation to recycle composites, and their recent study looks specifically at the potential of this technique applied to refractory materials.

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Industry survey lays out constraints to rare earth element supply diversification

By Lisa McDonald / January 11, 2022

Diversifying the supply chain is a main approach that the rare earth industry is taking to ensure adequate supply of rare earth elements, but there are challenges to diversification. A recent industry survey provides an excellent rundown of these challenges.

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Beyond bauxite—researchers explore laterite as an alternative source of aluminum

By Lisa McDonald / September 24, 2021

Bauxite ore is the world’s primary source of aluminum, but concerns about the supply chain have the aluminum industry interested in identifying alternative sources. Researchers in Sri Lanka explored the potential of laterite as an alternative source.

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