May 17, 2020

Google Releases Clean Energy Innovation Report

Google
Energy
Power
news
Admin
2 min
Google crunches numbers to figure out how clean energy technology innovation can improve the economy and the environment.
Google has been one of the biggest corporate investors into renewable and clean energy technologies. In fact, the search engine giant has invested ove...

 

Google has been one of the biggest corporate investors into renewable and clean energy technologies.  In fact, the search engine giant has invested over $780 million in clean energy technologies and innovations such as wind power and both solar farms and rooftop solar installation.  The company is also involved with electric car developer Aptera, biofuel venture Cool Planet Biofuels, and power conversion pioneer Transphorm.  Now, Google has crunched the numbers to uncover just how much change clean energy technology and innovation could have on the economy and the environment in a report it has released this summer.

According to Google, clean technology innovations can add 1.1 million jobs and $158 billion to the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) per year, while reducing annual household energy costs by $942 per home by 2030.  If policies are made stronger, those numbers could increase to a GDP of $244 billion and nearly 2 million jobs, while saving homes $995 annually. 

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The Google report uses a calculation tool provided by McKinsey and Co., coupled with government data and assumptions based on industry trends.  The report presupposes breakthroughs in technology and more aggressive clean tech energy policies to fulfill such figures.  It covers everything from clean power generation to electric cars, energy storage to natural gas.  

According to Google, a delay in increasing investment and development in clean tech between 2010 and 2015 will result in $2.3 trillion to $3.2 trillion in unrealized GDP and cost 1.2 million to 1.4 million jobs by 2050.

The report’s predictive models reveal that significant replacement of coal with clean energy sources isn’t likely to occur until after 2030.  But after then, clean technologies like solar and geothermal will be cheap enough to replace the dirty yet widespread power source. 

Google also notes that cheap natural gas will likely slow down clean energy development over the next few decades.  However, the report claims that natural gas is still cleaner than coal, and its widespread use will create cheap electricity, thus making electric cars more viable.

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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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