Environmental Awards Announced for Water Sanitation
STOCKHOLM, August 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Reed Elsevier, a world leading provider of professional information solutions, today announced the winners of the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge which awards innovative solutions to improve sustainable access to safe water and sanitation. The $50,000 first and $25,000 second prize winners were awarded during the annual World Water Week in Stockholm which convenes water researchers, policymakers, journalists, companies and nonprofits addressing the key water challenges of the 21st century.
The winner of the $50,000 first prize is the "Iron-amended Biosand Water Filter in Nepal" developed by Tommy Ngai, Director, Research Learning at the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). Ngai's project modifies conventional Biosand Filters with iron particles to remove all three classes of water contaminants, including viruses, and bring safe drinking water to two impoverished rural villages in Nepal. Over a period of two years 150 filters will be installed, and CAWST will update its educational material and hold workshops to promote the technology. The project will target over 1,000 people in the two villages and has the potential to be scaled to help millions over the next 10 years.
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Tommy Ngai, Director of Research Learning, CAWST, said: "CAWST is very pleased that Reed Elsevier recognizes the treatment of water in the home as one of the proven options to provide safe drinking water for Nepal, especially in rural villages. The Biosand filter has great potential to become widely and sustainably used for improving water quality to reduce waterborne disease and death."
The $25,000 second prize was awarded to "Sustainable Sanitation in Urban Slums of Africa" developed by Lindsay Stradley of Sanergy. The project will expand a pilot project in Nairobi to ensure that hygienic sanitation becomes accessible and affordable through a network of small-scale, high-quality sanitation centres close to homes. In Kenya 8.5m people live in slums with 80 per cent of the communities lacking access to adequate sanitation. Sanergy toilets are franchised to local entrepreneurs and stimulate the local economy by turning waste into products-organic fertilizer sold to farms, and electricity sold to the national grid. The prize money will be used to expand the current pilot project in Nairobi.
"We are thrilled to be recognized by the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge. The Reed Elsevier brand and expertise in science and technology lends credibility to our work in building out sustainable sanitation in urban slums," said Lindsay Stradley, Sanergy.
Chosen from a shortlist of five candidates and 140 original applicants, the winning projects were considered replicable, scalable, sustainable and innovative; emphasizing solutions with practical applicability. The Challenge's distinguished panel of judges consisted of Dr. Sarah Bell, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering, University College London; Professor Mark van Loosdrecht, Department of Biochemical
Engineering, Delft University of Technology; Dr. Prasad Modak, Executive President, of India's Environmental Management Centre; and Professor Gang Pan, Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Both projects will be featured in the Elsevier Journal of Water Research.
Youngsuk ("YS") Chi, Director, Corporate Affairs, Reed Elsevier, remarked: "The two winning projects embody the innovative but practical and scalable solutions prioritized by the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge. Our Challenge is a tangible demonstration that the dissemination of research, knowledge and ideas can be a powerful force for improving health and quality of life."
According to the World Health Organisation, lack of water to meet daily needs is a reality for one in three people around the world. Poor access to safe water contributes to health crises in many developing countries, and increasingly leads to violent conflict.
The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge contributes to the Water for Life Decade, established by the UN General Assembly, running between 2005 and 2015, in support of the Millennium Development Goal to reduce by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water and to stop unsustainable exploitation of water resources.
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.