LINKS OF THE WEEK: Feb 27 - March 5, 2023
Modular tech, micromobility, sound waves, and more.
- CIRCULAR ECONOMY FTW: Redwood Materials says it recovered 1,268 EV battery packs – amounting to 500,000 lbs (226,796 kg) – and was able to recycle 95% percent of the lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, and other metals in them. The company says its recycling process for smaller batteries – such as those in electronics – is already profitable and expects the same to soon be true for EV batteries.
- MODULAR TECH IS THE BEST TECH: The new Nokia G22 is HMD’s first phone built with repairability in mind. The company has teamed up with iFixit to offer official repair guides and parts to help people fix issues such as a busted display, dead battery or wonky charging port. Imagine no longer having to throw out the whole phone just because some small part of it is no longer working! Seems like a good thing to strive toward.
- SEAWEED IS AWESOME: Scientists at the University of Sussex have used seaweed to develop biodegradable health sensors that could be applied like a "second skin" and have been shown to outperform existing synthetic based hydrogels and nanomaterials in terms of sensitivity. Bring on the edible electronics!
- THE FUTURE IS FUNGAL: A team of Finnish researchers is suggesting that the fungus F. fomentarius could be used to provide a biodegradable alternative to plastics and/or high-performance light-weight materials for body armor, aircrafts, construction and more.
- BIOMATERIALS AHOY: This North Carolina startup makes engineered building materials out of the “fastest-growing perennial grass on Earth.” Two of its three cofounders are former SpaceX engineers. I bet they have some good stories to tell…
- THE FATHER OF MICROMOBILITY SPEAKS: Drew Smith speaks with Horace Dediu, the “father of micromobility,” about its origins, his critique of the new generation of EV companies, and the way things must change in order to provide a transport future that we can all enjoy.
- THE WORLD’S FIRST SODIUM-ION POWERED EV?: Meanwhile, in China, the first EV powered by a sodium-ion battery has apparently been created Hina Battery in partnership with car company Sehol (a joint venture between JAC and Volkswagen Anhui).
- 3D-PRINTED SOLID STATE BATTERIES: Silicon Valley startup Sakuu says it has created a 3D-printing platform that can mass produce solid state batteries that are 50% smaller and 40% lighter than lithium-ion batteries. AND not so explodey, which seems like it could be a good thing.
Speaking of 3D printing…
- USING SOUND WAVES TO 3D-PRINT LIVING TISSUE?! No, it’s not from an episode of Star Trek… Scientists in Germany say they have figured out a way to use ultrasonic "holograms" to instantaneously print 3D objects out of microscopic materials – including biological cells. (Presumably for medical/cultivated food-related reasons as opposed to Frankenstein’s Monster-related reasons.)
- MORE EVIDENCE THE FUTURE IS FUNGAL: Dharaksha is an Indian company that specializes in biodegradable packaging material made from mycelium and crop stubble waste. CEO Arpit Dhupar says no pollution or toxic residues are created during the production process. (Dhupar's motivations for creating the company are super cool - read the article at the link to learn more.)
That’s it for this week… what cool stories are YOU reading about that give you hope that we're making progress toward creating a more sustainable, healthy, and harmonious future for everyone? (Given everything that’s currently happening in the world…) Post them below as comments or send us a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org!