Materials science is the study of how the structure and composition of solid materials determine their properties . It answers questions like ‘why is a metal hard?’ Or more interestingly, ‘how can we make new, more useful materials?’ There are many ways in which improving materials can help fight climate change , for example:
Better batteries: we need these for electric cars , and for storing energy produced by wind and solar power (which generate energy when the wind blows or the sun shines, rather than necessarily when we want to use it) . Most batteries are made from lithium, but there is concern that we will run out of this metal within a few decades [2,17]. Materials scientists are working to create batteries from alternative materials as well as making them cheaper and more efficient [2,18,19].
Long-distance energy transmission: since some parts of the world are better suited to producing renewable energy , we need an affordable way of transmitting energy long distances underground from where it’s produced to where it is used . It is thought that special materials called superconductors (which transmit electricity with no resistance ) would be ideal for this, but they would need to be cooled to a very low temperature and are made from rare-earth metals that are in short supply . Materials scientists are therefore trying to find alternative materials .
There are many other aspects of material science that are important in the climate crisis, such as cheaper, more efficient and safer nuclear power [8,9], better materials for making cement  (cement production is currently responsible for about ~8% of global CO2 emissions ), bio-based chemicals and materials to replace those made from fossil fuels , light-weight materials for vehicles , and much more .
 https://www.nature.com/articles/nmat4545#Sec2 See: E.g. Implications for materials research
 https://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/news_docs/jrc-2016-trends-in-global-co2-emissions-2016-report-103425.pdf See: A2.2 CO2 emissions from cement production (non-combustion)
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