Chemical-Free Frack Water Cleanup Technology Takes Off
OriginOil, Inc., developer of the high-speed way to harvest algae and clean up frack water, announced yesterday the formation of a dedicated business unit to aggressively market its continuous-flow, high efficiency and chemical-free technology for frack water cleanup and petroleum recovery. The company has named Dr. R. Gerald Bailey, former President of Exxon, Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi and UAE, as Industry Advisor to this unit, while veteran former Dow Chemical manager Bill Charneski will head the unit as its General Manager.
"I was able recently to observe OriginOil's lab-scale frac flowback water treatment process," said Dr. Bailey. "The process is quite an achievement and has so much potential. I am looking forward to helping get this process into wide use in the oil and gas industry as a highly portable, high-flow and chemical-free way to maximize oil recovery and re-use the huge amounts of water used in oil exploration today."
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Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is one of the most transformative technologies of today's economy. It allows the energy industry to cost-effectively access deep underground oil and gas reserves to power an energy-hungry world. The dark side of this revolution is that vast amounts of water are continuously used, extracted and contaminated in fracking and production processes.
According to Global Water Intelligence, "the oil industry produces around 2.5 times more water than oil. By 2025 it will be producing five times more water than oil. Handling produced water is a tremendous growth market, but the real opportunity is in treatment." With daily world oil production approaching 90 million barrels, this implies a potential market for disposal and treatment of at least $500 billion because energy companies pay between $3 and $12 to process each barrel of produced water, as reported by Greentech Media.
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.