Energy Efficient Buildings Market Growing
The market for building energy management systems (BEMSs) continues to grow, driven by technology advances as well as a growing familiarity among customers with the benefits that BEMs provide.
A number of new and existing companies are developing software-based platforms to help customers squeeze cost-reducing energy efficiency and operational benefits out of their building portfolios. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue for BEMSs will reach $5.6 billion annually by 2020, more than doubling from the 2013 level.
“Building energy management systems represent one of the fastest-growing and most promising waves of innovation ever to occur in the building industry,” says Eric Bloom, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.
“Among end users, awareness is growing that BEMSs can help companies not only reduce their energy consumption, but also improve the operational performance of facilities and gain insight into occupancy trends in their buildings worldwide.”
While many BEMS vendors have developed platforms with commercial and government customers in mind, the utility sector is playing an increasingly important role in the BEMS market, according to the report.
Utilities face a growing number of regulations, such as energy efficiency resource standards in the United States, that require them to play a proactive role in reducing the energy consumption of their customer base. A BEMS deployed by a utility to its customers provides energy efficiency gains that utilities can claim in compliance with such regulations.
The report, “Building Energy Management Systems”, examines the global market for BEMSs, including hardware, software, and service components. The report details the current state of the market, and provides insight into the future direction of the technology based on emerging capabilities, technical feasibility, and consumer demand.
Forecasts for the global BEMS market, broken down by customer segment, product area, and region, extend through 2020, and key industry players are profiled in depth. An Executive Summary of the report is available for download on the Navigant Research website.
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.