Carbon Sciences to Focus on Hydrogen and Chemicals Market
Carbon Sciences Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to make transportation fuels and other valuable products from natural gas, recently announced that it will add to its core technology by accelerating the development of a steam reforming version of its proprietary catalyst for use by existing synthetic gas (syngas) plants. There are more than 2,000 plants worldwide that use steam reforming of natural gas to make syngas for the production of large volume chemicals such as hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, solvents and detergent alcohols.
Byron Elton, CEO of Carbon Sciences, commented, "We are accelerating our development efforts to adapt our proprietary catalyst to meet the needs of this valuable market. By the end of 2012, we plan to demonstrate that our catalyst will deliver more output at a lower cost and will be an attractive drop-in replacement for existing steam reforming plants. The financial rewards are enormous. The current global hydrogen market exceeds $150 billion/year with methanol at more than $20 billion annually. The 2,000 existing steam reforming plants in the world usually replace their catalysts every 3-5 years. Many of these catalysts replacements cost as much as $5-$10MM."
Gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, based on abundant and inexpensive natural gas, offers the best solution to meet the increasing demand for liquid transportation fuels. The GTL market is still developing and represents the company's most significant long-term market opportunity. Steam reforming of natural gas is the preferred method of producing syngas for small to mid-size GTL plants. Carbon Sciences is targeting this market segment as a drop-in replacement opportunity for the steam-reforming version of its catalyst.
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The company continues to develop the dry reforming version of its catalyst that can be used with captured CO2 or high CO2 content natural gas to make syngas.
Elton, concluded, "The key to succeeding in these market segments is a catalyst that can reduce the cost of reforming natural gas into syngas, the most costly step in making products from natural gas. We believe we have that catalyst. Completing the development and demonstrating the value of our breakthrough catalyst is Carbon Sciences' highest priority in 2012."
Edited by Carin Hall
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.