Though diverse, industrial minerals markets have largely been in decline throughout 2015 and 2016 due to falling demand in major markets, declining oil prices, and oversupply. In June, I attended the Industrial Minerals’ International Congress (IMIC) in the Czech Republic. It was not a happy place, with a subdued atmosphere and producers, consumers, traders, and processors all feeling the effects of reduced market activity.
I don’t know about you, but November 9 can’t come quickly enough for me. I don’t recall an election less focused on issues and policies and more focused on the personalities of the candidates. At this point, I just can’t wait for it all to be over.
Exposed in a step-like formation, layers of a new photovoltaic cell harvest more of the sun's energy.
October 3, 2016
The cost of solar power is beginning to reach price parity with cheaper fossil fuel-based electricity in many parts of the world, yet the clean energy source still accounts for just slightly more than 1% of the world’s electricity mix. Solar, or photovoltaic (PV), cells, which convert sunlight into electrical energy, have a large role to play in boosting solar power generation globally, but researchers still face limitations to scaling up this technology.
High-volume product designers traditionally considered ceramics a last substrate option due to high cost and lack of format availability. In the past, available thin ceramics were certainly not strong, robust, self-supporting or flexible. Volume markets today require a new set of high-performance, high-temperature-capable ceramic materials that are available in an ultrathin flexible roll format.
Researchers have succeeded in producing defect-free graphene directly from graphite.
October 3, 2016
While graphene is a promising new material, researchers across the globe are still looking for a way to produce defect-free graphene at low costs. Chemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in producing defect-free graphene directly from graphite for the first time. They recently published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.