Symposium EN10-Critical Materials for Energy—Extraction, Functionality and Recycling

The goal of this symposium is to provide an interactive forum for scientists from various fields who work towards novel and more efficient extraction and utilization of critical materials and minerals to enable sustainable energy technologies. Critical materials and minerals, including rare-earth elements (REE), platinum group elements (PGE), and lithium/cobalt/nickel that possess unique electronic, magnetic, catalytic, transport, and luminescent properties, are key components of many clean energy and high-tech applications that enable wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting and transportation for accelerating decarbonization economy and realizing Net-Zero-World ecosystem. However, uneven resource distribution and limited as well as vulnerable supply chains of critical materials pose an immense risk to the development and deployment of clean energy technologies both domestically and globally. Therefore, a sustained, multidisciplinary effort by integrating scientific research and engineering innovation to develop diverse solutions across the materials lifecycle, including mineral processing, materials manufacturing, elemental substitution, efficient use, and end-of-life recycling is timely and highly needed. To address the pressing opportunities and challenges, we envision this symposium to highlight most recent trends in fundamental and applied research on enhancing functional behavior and discovery of new properties of REE/PGE-based materials, mining, harnessing, substituting, and recycling critical materials in a wide range of energy and information technology applications. This symposium will bridge expertise on theoretical materials design, materials synthesis, functional measurement/control, advanced characterization, high-throughput computations and machine-learning/artificial intelligence methods. Particular attention will be paid to advancing our understanding of how critical elements impart materials and molecules the unique properties that are valuable for clean energy and climate solution technologies; predictive design of atom-efficient critical materials for energy and electronic applications; identifying new sources or facilitating reuse and recycling of existing critical materials, and reducing and eliminating the need for critical elements.

Topics will include:

  • Recycling of critical elements from man-made materials and components
  • Approaches to energy-efficient and atom-efficient circular economy
  • Life cycle analysis and assessment strategies on critical materials for environmental sustainability and socio-economic viability
  • Enhanced functional behavior of rare-earth element (REE) and platinum-group element (PGE)-enabled materials in energy technologies
  • Progress and challenges with substituting REE/PGE with more abundant elements
  • Predictive design of functional materials based on the critical materials
  • Methodological advances in synthesis, characterization, theory, high-throughput computations, and data-science approaches
  • In situ visualization and manipulation of critical elements at heterogeneous interfaces
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers:

  • Rebecca Abergel (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
  • Laura Calvillo (Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy)
  • Joseph Cotruvo (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
  • Beatriz Roldan Cuenya (Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany)
  • Zdenek Dohnalek (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA)
  • Yingge Du (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA)
  • Livia Giordano (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy)
  • Graeme Henkelman (The University of Texas at Austin, USA)
  • Hideo Hosono (Tokyo Institue of Technology, Japan)
  • Santa Jansone-Popova (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)
  • Sven Jantzen (Umicore, Germany)
  • Emma Kendrick (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
  • Masaaki Kitano (Tokyo Institue of Technology, Japan)
  • Laura Lewis (Northeastern University, USA)
  • Jessica Durham Macholz (Argonne National Laboratory, USA)
  • Judson Marte (MP Materials, USA)
  • Jeremy Mehta (Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, USA)
  • George Schatz (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Rachel Segalman (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
  • Marlies Van Bael (Hasselt University, Belgium)
  • Anna Vanderbruggen (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany)
  • Yan Wang (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA)
  • Chao Yan (Princeton NuEnergy, USA)
  • David Yancey (Dow Chemical Company, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Chong Liu
The University of Chicago
Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering

Peter V. Sushko
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Physical Sciences Division
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Cristiana Di Valentin
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Department of Materials Sciences
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Hua Zhou
Argonne National Laboratory
Advanced Photon Source

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