Connect with us

Published

on


For greater than a yr now the information has been masking semiconductor shortages, which negatively influence the availability of merchandise that depend on these small elements, from gaming consoles, smartphones and computer systems to automobiles and industrial gear. First impressions prompt that shortages had been as a result of Covid-19 disruptions, each on the availability and demand facet. Nonetheless, there appears to be much more beneath the floor.

What drove the present chip shortages?

The worldwide semiconductor provide chain is massive and sophisticated, and lots of transferring items are affecting its operation. Due to this fact, Covid-19 is just not solely accountable for its present predicament.

That isn’t to say that Covid-19 has not been an essential issue. The pandemic not solely diminished demand from customers and enterprises in 2020 but in addition diminished provide by shutting down manufacturing crops in Asia, from Taiwan and China to Korea and Japan. And there was additionally some self-inflicted ache because of knee-jerk reactions of shoppers who arguably went too far cancelling orders, because it appears was the case for the automotive business. From this attitude, it might be stated that in 2022 the business remains to be working by the backlog of orders and wishes extra time to stabilise.

With that stated, we must always not overlook the structural demand for extra chips on many fronts, resembling cloud computing and knowledge centres, smartphones, the adoption of synthetic intelligence (AI), and the emergence of autonomous automobiles (in addition to extra infotainment and automation options in electric and conventional automobiles). In some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, metaverse‑pushed demand will kick in too.

There’s additionally a simmering US/China commerce dispute, which is resulting in a rearranging of the worldwide semiconductor provide chain, because of bans on using key Western semiconductor manufacturing know-how, significantly excessive ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. EUV lithography is the know-how that’s presently used to fabricate probably the most superior chips, by printing the specified circuit design on a disc of silicon or wafer.

Lastly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine will drive additional shortages if the battle lasts for too lengthy. That is primarily as a result of these two international locations are key suppliers of assorted minerals utilized in semiconductor manufacturing, resembling neon, xenon and krypton gases, in addition to palladium. However there are additionally geopolitical implications for the Taiwan/China scenario.

The larger image: financial and army competitors

Due to this fact, past the pandemic-induced disruption, it’s extra possible that the business’s disruption is a part of a much bigger image. The US is more and more involved about China’s financial emergence from totally different views, starting from mental property safety to nationwide safety and technological management in key areas resembling AI. And, the significance of AI know-how to the army shouldn’t be underestimated.

Already in 2019, underneath the Trump administration, the US Division of Commerce positioned telecom gear vendor Huawei on its Entity Record, which meant that US firms that wished to proceed to promote to Huawei needed to apply for licenses. It additionally banned using its merchandise in US infrastructure on nationwide safety grounds. Later that very same yr, an extra 28 firms concerned in AI and surveillance and safety – together with Megvii Expertise, SenseTime and Hikvision – had been added to the banned checklist. In 2020, the main Chinese language semiconductor foundry, Semiconductor Manufacturing Worldwide Company (SMIC), was additionally added.

By banning know-how exports to China and limiting entry to key semiconductor capital gear know-how (from firms resembling Utilized Supplies, Lam Analysis, KLA and, not directly, even ASML) the worldwide chief in EUV lithography, the US is successfully stopping China from both importing or manufacturing probably the most superior semiconductors.

Only a few days in the past, the US gave yet one more flip of the screw, because it emerged that as a part of the $52bn US CHIPS for America Act simply handed by the US Senate, firms who intend to profit from its subsidies can be prohibited for ten years from constructing manufacturing capability in China for superior semiconductors. However with that stated, US subsidies are dwarfed by the $150bn China included just a few years in the past in its Nationwide Built-in Circuit Plan, which was expanded in 2019 – with a specific give attention to attaining lithography self-sufficiency.

Historic perspective

That is clearly a business battle, however it’s actually not the primary time know-how has been leveraged as a supply of aggressive benefit between civilisations. China is not any stranger to this. Virtually two thousand years in the past, when China dominated the worldwide commerce of silk and spices by the Silk Street, know-how was already used strategically.

The Chinese language managed to maintain silk a secret for greater than 1,000 years and initially led Europeans to imagine it grew in bushes. And, as soon as the key was out, fastidiously guarded their silkworms and their technique of harvesting the silk. It was not till 550AD that the key of silk turned identified to different international locations when two monks from the Byzantine Empire managed to smuggle some silkworm eggs in another country, probably one of many first circumstances of commercial espionage and mental property theft.

China initially known as its Belt and Street Initiative, a world infrastructure growth technique adopted in 2013, the ‘Silk Street Financial Belt’ technique.

Casualties and unintended penalties

On this business dispute between the US and China, there can be penalties. It’s possible that in the long term there can be a de-coupling of the worldwide semiconductor provide chain, as international locations search for provide chain safety and nationwide self-sufficiency, and there’ll more than likely be overinvestment. Extra manufacturing capability may drive costs down and make the general business much less worthwhile, probably impacting ranges of analysis and growth funding. Areas with no sturdy semiconductor sectors, from Africa to Europe and South America, might discover themselves in uncomfortable positions if pressured to take sides.

An unintended consequence of the US/China commerce dispute can be an acceleration within the growth of a home Chinese language semiconductor business. For an in depth evaluation of China’s potential to steer the world into the Fourth Industrial Revolution by 2030 check out our thematic report on ‘China Tech’.

Associated Firms







Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Tech

To help meet global EV demand, researchers develop sustainable method for recycling older lithium-ion batteries

Published

on

To help meet global EV demand, researchers develop sustainable method for recycling older lithium-ion batteries


Professor Gisele Azimi and PhD candidate Jiakai (Kevin) Zhang have proposed a brand new, extra sustainable methodology to get better helpful metals from lithium-ion batteries which have reached the tip of their helpful lives. Credit score: Safa Jinje

A College of Toronto researcher has developed a brand new method to assist recycle the metals in lithium-ion batteries, that are in excessive demand amid surging world gross sales of electrical automobiles.

Gisele Azimi, a professor within the departments of supplies science and engineering and chemical engineering and utilized chemistry within the School of Utilized Science & Engineering, and her workforce have proposed a brand new, extra to mine helpful metals—together with lithium, but additionally cobalt, nickel and manganese—from which have reached the tip of their helpful lifespan.

“Getting these metals from uncooked ore takes a variety of energy,” says Jiakai (Kevin) Zhang, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering and utilized chemistry who’s lead writer on a brand new paper not too long ago revealed in Sources, Conservation and Recycling.

“If we recycle current batteries, we will maintain the constrained provide chain and assist deliver down the price of EV batteries, making the automobiles extra inexpensive.”

A part of Canada’s dedication to succeed in net-zero emissions by 2050 features a obligatory goal requiring 100% of recent light-duty automobiles and passenger vehicles offered within the nation to be electric by 2035.

Attaining this goal would require a rise within the provide of vital metals, the worth of which is already very excessive. For instance, cobalt, a key ingredient within the cathode manufacturing of lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (generally abbreviated as NMC) batteries extensively utilized in EVs, can be one of the costly parts of lithium-ion batteries attributable to its restricted reserve.

“We’re about to succeed in a degree the place many lithium-ion batteries are reaching their ,” says Azimi. ”These batteries are nonetheless very wealthy in components of curiosity and might present a vital useful resource for restoration.”

Not solely can recycling present these supplies at a decrease value, nevertheless it additionally reduces the necessity to mine uncooked ore that comes with environmental and moral prices.

The life expectancy of EV batteries is from 10 to twenty years, however most automotive producers solely present a assure for eight years or 160,000 kilometers—whichever comes first. When EV batteries attain finish of life, they are often refurbished for second-life makes use of or recycled to get better metals. However right now, many batteries are discarded improperly and find yourself in landfills.

“If we hold mining lithium, cobalt and nickel for batteries after which simply landfill them at end-of-life, there shall be a damaging environmental impression, particularly if corrosive electrolyte leaching happens and contaminates underground water programs,” says Zhang.

Standard processes for recycling lithium-ion batteries are based mostly on pyrometallurgy, which makes use of extraordinarily excessive temperature, or hydrometallurgy, which makes use of acids and decreasing brokers for extraction. These two processes are each energy intensive: pyrometallurgy produces greenhouse fuel emissions, whereas hydrometallurgy creates wastewater that must be processed and dealt with.

In distinction, Azimi’s lab group is utilizing supercritical fluid extraction to get better metals from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. This course of separates one part from one other through the use of an extracting solvent at a temperature and strain above its vital level, the place it adopts the properties of each a liquid and a fuel.

To get better the metals, Zhang used carbon dioxide as a solvent, which was dropped at a supercritical section by growing the temperature above 31ºC, and the strain as much as 7 megapascals.

Within the paper, the workforce confirmed that this course of matched the extraction effectivity of lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese to 90% when in comparison with the standard leaching processes, whereas additionally utilizing fewer chemical substances and producing considerably much less secondary waste. In actual fact, the primary supply of energy expended through the supercritical fluid extraction course of was as a result of compression of CO2.

“The benefit of our methodology is that we’re utilizing from the air because the solvent as an alternative of extremely hazardous acids or bases,” she says. “Carbon dioxide is plentiful, low cost and inert, and it is also simple to deal with, vent and recycle.” 

Supercritical fluid extraction just isn’t a brand new course of. It has been used within the meals and pharmaceutical industries to extract caffeine from espresso beans because the Nineteen Seventies. Azimi and her workforce’s work builds on earlier analysis within the Laboratory for Strategic Supplies to get better from nickel--hydride batteries.

Nevertheless, that is the primary time that this course of has been used to get better metals from lithium-ion batteries, she says.

“We actually imagine within the success and the advantages of this course of,” says Azimi.

“We are actually shifting in direction of commercialization of this methodology to extend its know-how readiness degree. Our subsequent step is to finalize partnerships to construct industrial-scale recycling amenities for secondary sources. If it is enabled, it will be a giant sport changer.”


Closed-loop cobalt recycling from spent lithium-ion batteries based on a deep eutectic solvent


Extra info:
Jiakai Zhang et al, Recycling of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese from end-of-life lithium-ion battery of an electrical automobile utilizing supercritical carbon dioxide, Sources, Conservation and Recycling (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2022.106628

Quotation:
To assist meet world EV demand, researchers develop sustainable methodology for recycling older lithium-ion batteries (2022, October 4)
retrieved 5 October 2022
from https://techxplore.com/information/2022-10-global-ev-demand-sustainable-method.html

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any honest dealing for the aim of personal examine or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is supplied for info functions solely.





Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Tech

Using microwaves for low-cost production of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites for use in sodium-ion batteries

Published

on

Using microwaves for low-cost production of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites for use in sodium-ion batteries


Using microwaves for low-cost production of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites for use in sodium-ion batteries
Synthesis means of sodium iron phosphate via ball milling and microwave assisted and meeting of associated batteries and supercapacitors. Credit score: Scientific Experiences (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-20329-x

A staff of researchers at Superior Expertise and New Supplies Analysis Institute in Egypt has developed a quick and cheap solution to synthesize alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites to be used in sodium-ion batteries. Of their paper revealed within the journal Scientific Experiences, the group describes their course of and the way properly it labored.

With the continued rising demand for battery-powered merchandise reminiscent of vehicles and telephones, there’s elevated consideration centered on batteries. The present normal is the . However is getting more durable to seek out as it’s not very plentiful, so scientists have been searching for different. To this point, sodium-ion batteries appear to carry probably the most promise. Sodium is kind of plentiful and straightforward to mine, and batteries made with it could be a lot greener than these made with lithium—and safer as a result of they might not pose an explosion danger.

Sadly, such batteries nonetheless price extra to make than , which is why researchers such because the staff in Egypt are searching for cheaper methods to make them. On this new effort, they’ve developed a that entails the usage of microwaves as a heating mechanism.

The brand new methodology concerned first mixing Fe3(PO4)2, 8 H2O, Na2HPO4, glucose and ACM. As soon as combined, the fabric was ball milled after which positioned in a microwave gadget (the researchers used an ordinary off-the-shelf microwave oven) together with a mix of rice straw ash to facilitate heating.

After heating after which cooling, the ensuing materials was a mixture of sodium, iron phosphates-carbon nanocomposites that may very well be used to make a sodium-ion battery cathode. The researchers word that the heating course of occurs in roughly 60 seconds. Additionally they word their processing approach is considerably sooner than others which have been tried and doesn’t contain the usage of high-purity inert gases throughout any stage of processing, which, they level out, reduces the price of manufacturing.

The researchers word that along with use in making , the approach they developed may be used to make sodium-ion supercapacitors.


Block copolymer electrolyte used to make stable sodium metal batteries


Extra info:
Wael Wazeer et al, Extremely-fast green microwave assisted synthesis of NaFePO4-C nanocomposites for sodium ion batteries and supercapacitors, Scientific Experiences (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-20329-x

© 2022 Science X Community

Quotation:
Utilizing microwaves for low-cost manufacturing of alkali metallic phosphate nanocomposites to be used in sodium-ion batteries (2022, October 4)
retrieved 5 October 2022
from https://techxplore.com/information/2022-10-microwaves-low-cost-production-alkali-metallic.html

This doc is topic to copyright. Aside from any honest dealing for the aim of personal research or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is supplied for info functions solely.





Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Tech

Online tool offers industry easier way to track carbon footprint

Published

on

Online tool offers industry easier way to track carbon footprint


Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an online tool that offers industrial plants an easier way to track and download information about their energy footprint and carbon emissions.

Visualizing Energy Reporting Information and Financial Implications, or VERIFI, is a tool that uses an open-source framework with a utility dashboard. It allows energy coordinators and plant managers to monitor and improve their understanding of energy and water use patterns including the amount of carbon emitted from . Users can generate automatic reports, too.

“Industries want to know how to conserve and improve efficiency while reducing costs but often don’t know how to begin or lack the time to track it,” ORNL’s Kristina Armstrong said. “VERIFI provides a user-friendly platform for monitoring energy efficiency benchmarks and baselines and allows for the visualization of energy and utility bills.”


New evaluation framework for energy neutrality potential of wastewater treatment plants


Citation:
Online tool offers industry easier way to track carbon footprint (2022, October 4)
retrieved 4 October 2022
from https://techxplore.com/news/2022-10-online-tool-industry-easier-track.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending