May 17, 2020

Ford & Toyota Partner for Gas-Electric Hybrid System

vehicle
Electric
Gas
hybrid
Admin
2 min
Vehicle manufacturers Ford and Toyota have partnered to develop a new gas-electric hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between two unlikely partners. Competitors Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have teamed up to develo...

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between two unlikely partners.  Competitors Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have teamed up to develop a new gas-electric hybrid system for use in light trucks and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs).

The system being developed through Toyota and Ford’s partnership is a hybrid for larger, rear-wheel drive vehicles.  The goal is greater fuel efficiency without sacrificing power.  The two automakers will conduct a feasibility study and establish a timetable to implement the new technology in trucks and SUVs within the next decade.

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"The EPA requirements are a big challenge for us automakers," said Toyota research and development chief Takeshi Uchiyamada. "The American society can't do without trucks and SUVs. This collaboration we are forming with Ford is not only about lowering carbon dioxide but making trucks and SUVs more affordable for the customer."

Ford and Toyota plan to develop the system components together as equal partners, but implement their use separately.  The companies plan on standardizing telematic communications and computer components in the system.  This will aid in future additions of information and entertainment products.  Standardization will also cut complexity and improve development time. 

"By working together we will be able to serve our customers with the very best affordable, advanced powertrains, delivering even better fuel economy," Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said in a written statement. "This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability."

The development costs of the system are to be split evenly, and according to Toyota spokesman John Hanson, “This will make us no less fierce of competitors.”

This agreement between Ford and Toyota interestingly enough occurred by happenstance as the result of an informal conversation at an airport lobby between Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally and Toyota President Akio Toyoda.  This just goes to show that the boardroom extends far beyond the office walls. 

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

cleantech
manganese
USA
Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

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.

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