May 17, 2020

GM's Solar Power EV Charging Station

GM
chevy
volt
Solar
Admin
2 min
GM’s highly-rated Chevy Volt electric car gets a solar powered EV Charging station in Michigan.  The first of many to come
GMs Chevy Volt has been receiving rave reviews as the electric vehicle (EV) market takes off in the United States. The only problem facing the budding...

 

GM’s Chevy Volt has been receiving rave reviews as the electric vehicle (EV) market takes off in the United States.  The only problem facing the budding industry, however, is charging station infrastructure.  But GM has a plan to install solar powered EV charging stations across the country, and its first has been developed at Al Serra Auto Plaza in Grand Blanc, Michigan. 

The concept is simple enough: develop charging stations at dealerships that sell the Chevy Volt, that way buyers of the hot new electric car can rest assured that there will be at least one charging station in town right when they buy. 

Joe Serra, president of Serra Automotive, jumped at the opportunity to be the first dealership in the nation to have the solar charging station installed. “I am fortunate enough to have raised my hand at the right time,” he said.

GM is looking to install the solar powered charging stations at the more than 2,000 dealerships currently selling the Chevy Volt. “The goal was to really follow the Volt — follow that clean, renewable technology with ways to fuel the Volt using a clean energy,” says GM renewable energy manager Mary Alice Kurtz. “We definitely believe that solar energy is going to support the sustainability of the auto industry.  Will it be all of it? No. Will it be a part of it? Yes.”

 

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The charging station will have the capability once fully-operational to charge 12 Chevy Volts at a time, with charge time running four hours.  If the solar station produces excess energy, it will be fed into the city’s electrical grid, and Serra Automotive will receive a credit on his electricity bill. “It’s cost neutral,” Serra said. “I’m hoping it can reduce my overall electricity costs.”

Yearly payments for the solar powered charging stations will cost dealers between $8,500 to $10,000, of which roughly half should be offset with energy grid feed-in rebates.

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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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