California Invests in Emissions-Reducing Locomotives
ROSEVILLE, Calif., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Pacific Railroad is investing $20 million to test new technology designed to reduce diesel emissions from freight locomotives in California. A series of 25 experimental locomotives will be based in two Union Pacific rail yards in California as part of a rigorous test of emissions-reducing technologies. The investment represents Union Pacific's latest effort to further reduce emissions and move closer to the U.S. EPA's Tier 4 locomotive emissions standards for new locomotives starting in 2015. The experimental locomotives are intermediate line-haul units, with an operating range of approximately 200 miles, and will be used exclusively in California.
"The testing and analysis of these locomotives is part of an ongoing initiative at Union Pacific to develop and use technology in pursuit of emissions reductions," said Mike Iden, Union Pacific general director, car and locomotive engineering. "This effort is emblematic of our continued commitment to provide environmentally responsible freight transportation."
One locomotive in this series of 25 will be based in Roseville to test the combined use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), diesel oxidation catalyst, and diesel particulate filtering. In testing the combined benefits of these three technologies on one freight locomotive, this Union Pacific unit is the closest an Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) locomotive has come to achieving Tier 4 standards. The move toward Tier 4 is made up of a 45 percent reduction in the oxides of nitrogen emissions compared to the current Tier 2 standard and an 85 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions based on preliminary analysis. Union Pacific and the California Air Resources Board will jointly analyze the emissions reductions capability of this locomotive over the next 18 months.
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Nine of the experimental units fitted with the EGR technology are based in the Colton, Calif., area and will be tested through operations in the southern California region.
The remaining 15 experimental units will work out of Roseville for operations in northern California. These locomotives have the capability to be retrofitted with EGR and other emissions reduction technologies as testing progresses. The Proposition 1B – Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program is partially funding this set of locomotives.
Testing on all 25 locomotives is scheduled to last through 2014.
In partnering with EMD to develop these experimental locomotives, Union Pacific continues working to upgrade and improve the fuel-efficiency of its locomotive fleet. Since 2000, Union Pacific has invested approximately $6.56 billion to purchase locomotives that meet the EPA's updated emissions guidelines and an additional $200 million to upgrade older locomotives in the fleet to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency. That's nearly 3,800 new, fuel-efficient locomotives in all. These purchases allow Union Pacific to retire older, less-efficient locomotives, thus improving overall fleet fuel economy and reducing Union Pacific's emissions rate.
About Union Pacific
One of America's iconic companies, Union Pacific celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2012. Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. Today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.
SOURCE Union Pacific Railroad
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.