Government & Business in Rio for Green Development
World leaders in green development traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last week to discuss sustainable infrastructure as the city prepares for the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games. Participants to the collaboration included representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), leaders from C40 cities such as Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and businesses like Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Alcoa, CH2M Hill and even Harvard University. The group intentions were to both learn and share ideas about how Rio de Janeiro will go about its alleged $200 billion infrastructure upgrade in time for the upcoming events.
The group of business and government leaders visited Rio for three days. The collaborative effort was set up by U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff following a meeting between the two in March.
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Among the representatives were leaders of C40 cities—an international group of cities that have aligned on climate change and sustainability issues. Striving to make his city the “greenest in America,” Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter was selected by the EPA to join the group because of his position as a national leader in urban redevelopment and sustainability. Nutter was the only elected official to attend and the EPA reportedly fronted the bill. Mayor Nutter said Philadelphia “has a lot to learn from Rio,” but believes he can provide them a few lessons as well.
Businesses like Microsoft and CH2M Hill were also on hand. CH2M Hill is currently transforming London into the Olympic city for 2012’s summer games. Holding the majority of development contracts for the newly constructed Olympic facilities in London, CH2M Hill may be eyeing Brazilian contracts in the near future for both the country’s infrastructure upgrades and game facilities development. “Brazil is an important part of CH2M HILL’s international operations, and we are committed not only to expanding our services and resources, but also to fostering an exchange of ideas and talent between Brazil and the United States,” says Lee McIntire, CH2M HILL Chairman and CEO and member of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. “We are grateful to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Presidents Obama and Rousseff for providing opportunities such as this forum to foster a strong and collaborative relationship between the two largest economies of the Americas.”
EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said, "With the significant investments in sustainable urban growth that Rio is making in the next four years, it is essential that we go there to both learn and share our expertise. We want to be part of activities that can create new jobs for American companies and foster cleaner, greener communities for the American people."
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.