Discoveries in weeks, not years: How AI and high-performance computing are speeding up scientific discovery
Scientists at PNNL are testing a new battery material that was found in a matter of weeks, not years, as part of the collaboration with Microsoft to use advanced AI and high-performance computing (HPC), a type of cloud-based computing that combines large numbers of computers to solve complex scientific and mathematical tasks.
As part of this effort, the Microsoft Quantum team used AI to identify around 500,000 stable materials in the space of a few days. The new battery material came out of a collaboration using Microsoft’s Azure Quantum Elements to winnow 32 million potential inorganic materials to 18 promising candidates that could be used in battery development in just 80 hours. Most importantly, this work breaks ground for a new way of speeding up solutions for urgent sustainability, pharmaceutical and other challenges while giving a glimpse of the advances that will become possible with quantum computing.
New Process Converts Scrap Aluminum Into EV Parts
Engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) here have developed a new manufacturing process that can convert recycled aluminum into parts for electric vehicles. They worked with Magna International Inc. on the foou-year R&D project that dramatically reduces the need to mine and refine raw aluminum ore.
The Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE) process collects scrap bits and leftover aluminum trimmings from automotive manufacturing and transforms it directly into suitable material for new vehicle parts. It is now being scaled to make lightweight aluminum parts for EVs.
“This innovation is only the first step toward creating a circular economy for recycled aluminum in manufacturing,” claims Whalen. “We are now working on including post-consumer waste streams, which could create a whole new market for secondary aluminum scrap.”