Climate change commitments not enough
Australia’s commitment, made with 36 other industrialised countries, for binding emission cuts by 2020 as part of a package of agreements that extends the life of the Kyoto Protocol at the UN COP18 in Doha, Qatar, has been welcomed by the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA).
The deal, agreed by 194 nations at the climate talks in Doha, extends the Kyoto Protocol to 2020, and prepares the way for the Kyoto protocol to be replaced by a new treaty binding all developed and developing nations together by 2015 to respond to climate change.
SEA members support a market-based approach to the pricing of carbon as a part of the response to tackle global warming.
“Certainty and consistency in policy approaches using markets to stimulate investment in renewable energy is the key to bringing on the most economically efficient market reforms,” says Kirsten Rose, SEA Chief Executive.
From 2013 at least 33 countries, 11 sub-national jurisdictions in the US and Canada, and seven cities and provinces in China, covering around one-third of China’s GDP, and one-fifth of its population, will participate in emissions trading schemes. More countries, including Korea, have indicated they too will be implementing emissions trading in the next couple of years.
Returning from the talks in Doha, SEA Chief Adviser Professor Ray Wills noted the climate meeting has established for the first time, agreement that rich nations should move towards compensating poor nations with a provision on “Loss and Damage” due to climate change.
“The final text ‘encourages’ developed nations to provide at least $10 billion a year up to 2020 to developing economies through a Green Climate Fund (GCF) established within the framework of the UNFCCC to fight climate change,” says Prof Wills.
“The world spent $1500 billion on military last year alone; by comparison, the amount of $10 billion a year is ‘spare change’, representing less than 1% of the annual global military spend. On that scale, the world has yet to declare a war on global warming,” says Prof Wills.
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.