Communication Stalled After Storms Ravage Midwest
Survivors of last week’s deadly tornadoes have had difficulty carrying out the task most important to them in the days following the storm: getting in touch with friends and family to make sure they’re okay. At least 38 people were killed Friday in the storm system affecting residents throughout Indiana and Kentucky. With phone lines down and cellular coverage widely unavailable, rescuers are now going door-to-door to make sure victims are not trapped in their houses.
In an age when a declaration that we are dependent on technological means of communication – phone calls, e-mail, Facebook – would be a gross understatement, survivors have been forced to come up with more creative means of getting in touch, usually good old-fashioned word of mouth.
State Police in Henryville, Indiana, a particularly hard-hit area, have set up two official gathering points at a church and community center, where survivors meet and ask after one another and their families.
Formation of Henryville Tornado
A West Liberty resident, Doris Shuck, received a text message shortly after the storm from her mother checking to see if she was okay. When Shuck was unable to respond, the family drove to her mother’s house in Prestonburg, passing her parents along the way as they traveled to West Liberty. “We had no way to communicate that to each other. We’re so used to our cellphones and instant messaging. We didn’t have any of that,” she told the Boston Globe.
Social networking tools have proved useful for finding missing persons during natural disasters in the past. After the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May of 2011, a Facebook page dedicated to finding Lantz Hare, a victim missing after the storm, prompted people to use the site to share countless stories of nameless victims in hospitals throughout the state.
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In Kentucky alone 19,000 residents were still without power Monday. Power has not yet been restored to 2,800 homes in Indiana and in devastated towns like Henryville, transmission lines and a substation need to be rebuilt, meaning power may not be restored for up to a week.
Cell phone providers are working to set up mobile charging stations, equipped with e-mail access, to help survivors get in touch with friends and family until power is restored.
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.