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Boron and Sustainable Future with New Technologies
18th November 2022 • Borates Today • Brendan McMahon
00:00:00 00:06:42

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Today, we will look at a sustainable future using materials sciences.

A sustainable future using materials science can be achieved by developing new materials and technologies to help address climate change, dwindling resources, and pollution.

Transcripts

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Welcome back to the Borates Today podcast.

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Each week we cover news on boron and borates that's relevant

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to the industry and timely.

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With a range of topics, including the latest industry news we answer questions

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about the key players in the sector.

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We also look at the trends, driving demand and supply for boron and we

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discuss the science behind boron.

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Who's doing valuable research.

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How does borne help with decarbonisation with advanced energy?

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With food security and in providing nutrition.

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So don't forget to check out born applications and benefits on our website.

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borates.t oday.

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Today, we're going to look at a sustainable future

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using materials sciences.

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A sustainable future using materials science can be achieved through

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developing new materials and technologies that can help address climate change,

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dwindling resources and pollution.

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From smartphones to high-speed trains, many modern day products depend

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heavily on dwindling resources.

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The expectation of which has high environmental and economic expense.

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According to professor Liu, McDevitt chair of Physics at Georgetown

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University, we need a bigger toolbox to create greener technology that

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helps with a sustainable future.

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He says "it's fascinating as it's a completely new world.

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Also, we have the power to form up new materials at the atomic level,

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which possess novel properties besides those developed in their bulk forms.

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How is boron part of this future?

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Permanent magnets are used in various applications, including hybrid

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electric vehicles, magnetically levitated trains, power storage, wind

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turbines and consumer electronics.

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However, the rare earth elements they depend on are hard to

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mine and can be expensive.

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As a result, there's a critical need to develop replacements that use

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fewer or even no rare earth elements.

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Researchers hope that boron-based magnets will lower the carbon

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footprint in producing permanent magnets with similar properties to

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those made with rare earth elements.

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This advancement will make cutting edge technology accessible and an eco-friendly

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choice for many industrial applications.

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Neodymium magnets are one of the strongest types of permanent magnets.

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They're made from the neodymium, iron and boron and they have a very high

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resistance to heat and corrosion.

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These magnets are known for their Ferro-magnetic properties, which

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means they can be magnetized easily and hold onto their magnetism well.

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They're considered the most powerful magnets due to their smallest

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size, rare earth magnetic materials with a higher density per volume.

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Neodymium magnets make advancements in medicine and renewable energy

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production for a sustainable future.

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These magnets are super strong magnets that need low heat, high

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power sources, and are resistant to magnetic demagnetization.

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Hence they can be made in various shapes and They are versatile materials

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that can be used for almost anything.

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Data storage is another area where magnets may be useful.

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One area where researchers see the potential for significant improvement,

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is how we store data and computers.

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The density of magnetic recording media has dramatically increased in recent years

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thanks to advances in nanoscale magnets.

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The property that allows digital data to be stored in ever shrinking

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magnets is the tendency of each bit to sustain its magnetic moment,

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known as magnetic anisotropy.

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Present magnetic recording media have precious metals, which are

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expensive and unsustainable.

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Back to Professor Liu and Gen Yin who recently received a grant from the

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National Science Foundation to research magnetic recording media via high entropy

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routes to create novel magnetic alloys.

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These alloys include various elements and, surprisingly, they can form stable

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structures with improved properties.

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This approach will create novel phases for magnetic recording

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media applications that can not be obtained through conventional means.

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Liu is hopeful that his research on magnetic skyrmions, will lead to a new

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way of storing digital information.

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Tiny magnetic knots can be formed by incorporating typology into how

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nanoscale magnets are oriented.

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These nano magnets are excellent information carriers.

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Magnetic skyrmions are a type of quasi particle, having a whirling configuration.

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These nano-sized imbalances are made from a series of knotted inter-locking magnetic

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moments, invisible to the naked eye.

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A skyrmion's inter-locking nature provides topological protection and stability.

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By implementing a single layer of a hydrogen atom in an inert atmosphere

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onto the surface of a thin magnetic film, researchers introduced a new technique

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of writing and deleting skyrmions which corresponds to the one and zero states,

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respectively at room temperature.

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This is very useful as it's a non-contact way to write and remove information with

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no need for multiple electric leads.

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How is this relevant to industry?

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Mining extraction companies are getting involved in research projects as part

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of their commitment to understanding and communicating how minerals like

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boron can be used in new applications, not only for commercial advantage, but

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for Sustainability and Decarbonization, Advanced Energy, and Food Security.

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One such company is 5e Advanced Materials, who are building out the only recently

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permitted boron extraction resource globally, in Southern California.

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5e Advanced Materials aims to be a vertically integrated leader in the

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boron Advanced Materials', business.

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Boron products are in high demand for critical high value applications such as

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electric transportation, clean energy, food security, and permanent magnets.

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By sponsoring research into Professor Liu's research group, the company intends

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to be an active partner in providing strategic minerals for advanced energy.

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And that's all from Borates Today.

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For more information on topics related to boron and borates

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and sustainable materials, don't forget to check out our website.

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borates.today and our YouTube channel and podcasts .Thanks for listening