Raw materials

Data-driven approaches to materials challenges, plus more inside August 2020 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / July 16, 2020

The August 2020 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring data-driven methods to augment experimental methods—is now available online. Plus—USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries

Read More

Sand—a critical material resource with a complicated story and no simple solution

By April Gocha / July 7, 2020

Humans’ voracious sand consumption for infrastructure activities threatens global supply of this critical natural resource. But do we even know how much sand we are consuming worldwide? New research shows that we’ve been calculating the basic unit all wrong.

Read More

Video: Deep sea mining—the search for critical materials dives into dark waters

By Lisa McDonald / January 22, 2020

As the global batteries market expands rapidly in parallel with renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles, manufacturers are looking for new sources of critical materials. Deep sea mining is one possibility—but at what cost to the environment?

Read More

Lucrative lunar? Startup companies raise significant funding to mine the moon for rare earth elements and more

By April Gocha / January 7, 2020

A whole slate of startup companies are raising millions of dollars in funding to support their missions to extract resources from space—but is mining the moon for rare earth elements even feasible?

Read More

Video: Another way to mine—rare-earth elements extracted from scrapped magnets

By Lisa McDonald / August 28, 2019

Extracting rare earth elements from e-waste can be difficult. The Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute and other labs are collaborating to develop new recycling methods—and one method is set for commercial production of rare-earth oxides.

Read More

Cheers to sustainability—lifecycle analysis pits glass bottles against aluminum cans

By April Gocha / August 23, 2019

From an environmental sustainability standpoint, which is better: glass bottles or aluminum cans? Turns out, the answer is not so clear-cut.

Read More

Structural clay experts converge on Indianapolis for networking, tours, and more at 2019 brick meeting

By Greg Geiger / July 10, 2019

More than 100 attendees converged in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 24–27 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.

Read More

Video: A library of rare colors

By Lisa McDonald / April 3, 2019

The Forbes Pigment Collection at Harvard Art Museums has more than 2,500 pigment samples. Learn how scientists and artists use these pigments in painting restoration and authentication, as well as the unusual materials some pigments are made from.

Read More

A materials dead end? The unraveling of the recycling cycle

By April Gocha / March 26, 2019

Although 91 percent of the plastics discarded on this planet have never been recycled, the materials recycling status of glass has to be better…right? A daunting look at the current state of recycling.

Read More

Poor quality (or fake) graphene could be hindering your research

By Faye Oney / December 11, 2018

In two separate studies, researchers discovered inferior and counterfeit commercial-grade graphene by examining dozens of graphene samples. Scientists using inferior graphene may find their research results are not as accurate as they thought.

Read More