Solar farms are blooming in fields across the globe and producing a new crop: solar energy. Photovoltaic (PV) systems made up of solar panels, are fast becoming the most recognisable of renewable energy technologies.
Materials selection for any piece of equipment or a process system is rarely a simple task, unless you are exactly replicating something successful. Often engineers will have a checklist to help them narrow down the choices, eliminating groups of materials that are not suitable for various reasons. Austenitic 300 series stainless steels containing 7-35% nickel will have most if not all of the boxes checked for being suitable where a stainless steel is desired.
The sudden failure of a building or bridge is mercifully a rare event, thanks largely to international or national standards: structures are designed in accordance with a design standard, using products conforming to a product standard and manufactured using techniques and to a quality level defined in a construction standard.
What is a “sustainable product”? Is it more sustainable to continue using my old washing machine or to buy a new, more energy efficient one? Are single use products always unsustainable? What criteria should I use to judge whether a product is sustainable or not? What measures can we take to promote sustainability in products?
Each family of stainless steels has its strengths and weaknesses. Ferritic stainless steels have useful properties – a lower rate of thermal expansion, higher thermal conductivity, strong ferromagnetism and very high resistance to chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC). When looking at selecting any alloys, it is important to consider all the factors for successful usage.
Awareness about robustness and durability of bridge design has grown since Morandi’s time. The new San Giorgio Bridge (its successor) in Genoa was designed by Renzo Piano and inaugurated in 2020.
The duplex alloys are “problem-solving alloys” for good reason, they have been successfully used in many places where carbon steels and standard austenitic alloys have failed. Just like with the austenitic family, there are many different duplex alloys to choose from, with corrosion resistance varying from moderate with the lean duplex alloys to very high with the superduplex alloys.
The Nickel Institute has published specific guidance for nickel producers to help them calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. This guidance takes into account the complexity of nickel production and will contribute to scientifically robust and reliable data that is comparable throughout the entire industry. The author of the Guidelines, Dr. Mark Mistry explains.
Steven Verpaele, the Nickel Institute’s Industrial Hygienist explains how a new workplace exposure collection tool and database system will help prevent occupational diseases and contribute to creating a health and safety culture at the workplace.
The selection of an alloy should be guided by careful examination of the needs of the application. Before making a switch, it’s important to fully investigate an alloy’s strengths, weaknesses and applicability to your structure.
In 2021, China recorded the strongest growth in the EV market with around 3.2 million EVs sold. This was an increase of 2 million EV units compared to 2020 which was more than the combined increase of all other regions taken together.
A team of researchers, led by Professor Jeff Dahn at Dalhousie University, have developed and demonstrated batteries that can last four million miles (almost six million km).
Batteries, notably those used in electric vehicles, play an essential role in the plans of the European Commission to deliver the EU Green Deal. They are considered as a critical and strategic technology to achieve Europe´s ambitious climate change mitigation targets and to move towards green and sustainable mobility.
The 4th update of the Nickel Institute’s Safe use of Nickel in the Workplace has been published. It has been revised to help companies using nickel keep up with the latest health and environment knowledge of this resource element which is important for a wide range of applications.
The proposed Regulation will introduce a wide range of sustainability requirements and promote the recycling of key battery raw materials like nickel. EU legislative work is entering a crucial phase.
Think of the largest cruise ship. Then imagine how much it weighs – just over 100,000 tonnes, in fact. Now think about 500 of those ships, and what they weigh. That is the staggering amount of new electronic waste that we generate every year.
Major economies across the globe are setting climate neutrality targets. But proper measurement and methodologies are needed to provide transparency and common benchmarks when assessing carbon footprint. At a recent event in China, there was general consensus on the importance of adopting a harmonized approach to carbon footprint calculation and disclosure.
More than ten years on from the implementation of the EU’s REACH regulation, NiPERA’s Tara Lyons-Darden looks back and shares some of the learnings and the challenges of maintaining REACH dossiers from the perspective of the Nickel REACH Consortia.
Electrification of light-duty vehicles is trending in many parts of the world and is on track to become a consumer driven phenomenon but let’s not forget the heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses.
While it may require an initial higher investment when compared with other materials, stainless steel’s unique properties deliver long-term performance and economic benefits including minimum downtime, reduced maintenance costs and reduced environmental impacts.
As delegates to the UN COP26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow grapple with the climate crisis, clean energy solutions will be in focus. Although clean energy technologies rely on metals and minerals that are unavoidably energy intensive to produce, the IEA says that the climate advantages of these technologies remain clear.
While Japan has been a pioneer in manufacturing gasoline-hybrid cars, it has shown a sort of ambivalence towards the transformative trend brought about by EVs.
Even small quantities of nickel in an application can make a big difference to successful deployment.
Nickel-based alloys and nickel-containing stainless are playing key roles in an emerging source of renewable energy known as thermal solar plants or concentrated solar power (CSP). Their use has enabled the industry to overcome challenges in heat transfer and thermal storage technology.
“There’s a mental hurdle to get over of how inherently gross this could be, but we know that this water is safe, and we stand by our process.”
Geothermal energy for electric power production has a low profile yet is significant in the current and potential energy mix for a number of countries. It has also been described as the most reliable of the renewable energy sources, above weather-dependent wind, solar and hydropower.
Charging Infrastructure is the backbone of the EV revolution. Parul Chhabra explains how the transformation in road transportation brought about by a shift towards E-mobility is causing pathbreaking changes along the value chain.
The upstream and midstream oil and gas industries rely on nickel-containing corrosion resistant alloys for flowlines and risers. Rodrigo Signorelli, Outokumpu’s lead technical manager for marine and energy, explains how alloys reach the market.
In 2021, China instigated its 14th Five-year Plan. Under the Plan, the country aims to move from an era of rapid economic growth towards improving its economic structure and the standard of living of the Chinese people.
We all know that climate change is the biggest global challenge. We all need to work towards a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – and ideally become carbon neutral by 2050.
The many new and innovative applications of hydrogen as fuel show great promise for a greener future.
Steven Verpaele, the Nickel Institute’s Industrial Hygienist explains the different ways that the work he leads is helping to contributing to the culture of occupational safety and health that respects the right to a safe and healthy working environment at all levels.
Professor Stefano Passerini is the Director of the Helmholtz Institute Ulm. In this Battery Chat, he talks to Parri Adeli regarding their work on high-voltage LNMO cathodes and electrolyte additives, among other topics.
James E. Churchill believes that telling the history of Monel and renewing the scientific data will empower conservators to educate and preserve key metallurgical heritage.
As electric vehicles (EVs) trend from being niche to mass scale and the lines between EVs and their combustion engine (ICE) counterparts get blurred in terms of usability, consumers, automakers, governments and fire departments continue to have some apprehensions.
Dr. Ilias Belharouak is the head of electrification and energy storage at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In this Battery Chat, he talks to Parri Adeli about the various energy storage topics his group are investigating including a new class of cathodes that they developed recently and its scale-up path.
A new generation of designers, materials specifiers, architects and engineers is being introduced to the wealth of technical information curated by the Nickel Institute. An archive of technical guides and know-how for working with nickel-containing materials, including stainless steel, that has been built over thirty years is now being updated and made freely available.
Professor Jeff Dahn, at the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada explains how single crystal technology is proving to be a promising solution to the challenge of overcoming range anxiety which is high on the agenda of electric vehicle manufacturers and battery developers.
Parul Chhabra argues that attaining mass scale potential of electric vehicles will be determined by satisfying consumer concerns which go beyond pro-environment government policies.
Dr. Feng Lin is an assistant professor in the chemistry department of Virginia Tech. In this Battery Chat, he talks to Parri Adeli about his scientific journey and his research into cathodes and catalysts.
If you’re like me and predictive text has led to some awkward if not amusing moments, you might be sceptical about Artificial Intelligence (AI). But its achievements are already overwhelming and changing, even protecting, our lives in many sectors.
Everyone is confronted with metals on a daily basis. Just look around you in the kitchen where appliances and cutlery are often made out of nickel-containing stainless steel. Your car or bicycle, whether electrical or not, won’t exist if it weren’t for all the metals that build the frame or the battery to make it faster, cleaner, safer.
Prof. Arumugam Manthiram, a renowned professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has contributed substantially to the field of energy storage with his research having great impact on the scientific community. In this chat, Prof. Manthiram shares his research path briefly, his perspective on current research performed on high-nickel cathodes, and a glimpse of his future research directions.
The use of food crops for the production of fuel is somewhat controversial. But cellulosic ethanol production facilities increase the utilization of plant waste, reduce competition for food crops and provide a substitution for fossil fuels. And nickel-containing alloys are central to this game-changing revolution.
The present-day principal driver in the Li-ion industry is the large batteries required for electric vehicles. Due to the size of these batteries and the relative growth of electric vehicles it is predicted that the total Li-ion energy capacity will exceed one tera watt-hour by 2030. This anticipation for a dramatically rapidly expanding industry has stakeholders all along the value chain very motivated to be ready.
New advances in the use of Artificial Intelligence have the potential to speed up the process of alloy development.
Although market analysts believe that low oil prices will not derail the shift that has started towards clean mobility, the automobile sector including EVs has not been immune to the impact of Covid-19.
The short answer is: yes, nickel can be a sustainable material throughout the entire value chain, from mining, manufacturing, to use and end of life – if all actors throughout the value chain step up and take their responsibility. Now let's look at the longer answer...
When Courtney Love wrote this she was not thinking about rockets. It is, however, a perfect description of the history of rocketry. Until the Elon Musk revolution.
The last three months have been unprecedented. But amidst the chaos and despite the drop in global GDP, there has still been a considerable amount of activity in the electric vehicle (EV) and battery world.
New energy legislation is set to optimize China’s energy structure and boost the use of non-fossil energy. Aligning with China’s regulatory agenda, nickel will play a vital role in tomorrow’s world powered by cleaner energy.
Space is hard but nickel makes it possible. The United States of America, through the private company SpaceX, imminently expects to regain its independent way into space.
Food safety starts with rigorous hygiene, and nickel-containing stainless steels are the superior, reliable standard at every link of the food chain.
Around two-thirds of today’s buildings will still be around in 2050, and by 2060, the world is projected to add 230 billion m² of buildings - an area equivalent to the entire current global building stock. What can the building and construction sector do to reduce the environmental burden of buildings?
Ever-tightening sulphur oxide (SOx) emission regulations are increasing the use of marine scrubbers globally. Scrubbers operate in a highly corrosive environment and require the resilience of nickel-containing alloys to prevent failure.
European nickel producers need a consistent regulatory framework. There must be coherence between different EU policy objectives with rules based on principles of sound science, risk-based approaches, full life-cycle thinking and impact assessments.
The electric vehicle market is expected to be by far the largest and most dominant market for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Despite the strong desire to increase EV sales by all involved in the value chain, proliferation has been curbed due to the high cost to the consumer and the perceived disadvantages of owning an EV. Range anxiety, a lack of charging stations and fire safety worries, are among the top concerns.
Nickel’s role in enabling technologies is not always common knowledge. Yet its versatile properties present great opportunity for the nickel industry.
Most nickel production is destined for stainless steel. But a significant 8% is used in the production of alloy steels which are needed to deliver specific characteristics for specialised and often critical applications.
Partially corrugated stainless steel service pipes have reduced water leakage rates drastically in Tokyo where they were introduced in the 1980s. Now other innovative water authorities faced with the urgent need to reduce water loss are also examining the nickel-containing stainless steel solution.
Should we be worried about there being enough nickel to supply the transition to electric vehicles and cleaner energy sources? Given its wide range of uses in important existing and emerging technologies, this is a frequently asked question.