May 17, 2020

Green Giants Leading the Most Innovative Green Technology Businesses

5 min
Mendel Biotechnology

Tesla Motors
Elon Musk
Chairman, Product Architect and CEO

Elon Musk has played an integral role in the development of the Tesla Motors brand...

Tesla Motors
Elon Musk
Chairman, Product Architect and CEO

Elon Musk has played an integral role in the development of the Tesla Motors brand. Musk manages product strategy for the business, which includes the design, engineering and manufacturing of electric vehicles. The business aims at making electric vehicles readily available, at an affordable price, for everyday consumers.

Musk’s role as Chairman and Product Architect put him at the forefront of design development for the highly-progressive Tesla Roadster. Musk received the Index and Global Green award for his work on the Tesla Roadster as well.

Musk became CEO of Tesla Motors in October of 2008, overseeing day-to-day operations as the company increased its Roadster production. He has also led its development of a second vehicle with the Model S, an all-electric family sedan.

Musk was responsible for securing a $50 million investment and strategic partnership with German-based Daimler in May of 2009, as well as launching Tesla’s regional sales and service centers throughout two continents.

Musk has held a strong interest in the development of electric cars for two decades. He earned his Bachelor’s degrees in Business and Physics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Brian Harrison
President and CEO

California-based Solyndra serves the global solar community and is best known for its innovative, cylindrical rooftop technology. The product is currently installed on over 500 rooftops around the globe, including the rooftops of well-known commercial buildings. The technology delivers a light-weight option, plus fast and easy installation. Customers have seen firsthand the success of converting underutilized rooftop space into renewable energy from the sun. The technology is considered to be the best solution for rooftop power generation.

Most recently the company installed its solar systems in Prague and Germany. Solyndra was named “One of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World” by MIT Technology Review Magazine in 2010.

Brian Harrison is relatively new to the Solyndra family, having been appointed President and CEO in July of 2010. He brought to the business a wealth of experience gained by working with big-named companies like Numonyx Inc and Intel Corporation. Harrison has maintained multiple senior positions throughout his career. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Mendel Biotechnology
Neal Gutterson
President and Chief Executive Officer

Mendel Biotechnology works toward improving plant productivity and quality in order to better serve the global bioenergy industry. The company has partnered with some major players in the biofuels sector, including Monsanto and BP. The company was established in 1997, with the goal of meeting global agricultural and energy production demand. The company is headquartered in the U.S. with operations throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe and China.

Mendel is committed to becoming a premier biotechnology business that provides new genetic and chemical solutions to large agricultural companies. The company aims to become the leading seed company that serves the bioenergy industry.

Neal Gutterson has been CEO of Mendel since February of 2007, having originally joined the company in 2002 as VP of Research and Development. In 2005, Gutterson was promoted to President and COO before he began his tenure as CEO. He is also an active member of the Board of Directors with the company.

Gutterson has been involved in plant biotechnology since 1983, bringing extensive experience to Mendel. Gutterson earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University.

He serves on the executive committee of SCRA to support regulatory approval of biotech specialty crop products; is a member of the Food and Agriculture Section; serves on the Industrial and Environmental Section Governing Boards of the Biotechnology Industry Organization; and serves on the steering committee of CSBP, Council for Sustainable Biomass Production.

Silver Spring Network
Scott Lang
Chairman, President and CEO

Silver Spring supplies its advanced hardware, software and services to connect devices with the smart grid. The company developed a Smart Energy Platform, which brings together multiple advanced applications, like smart metering, demand response, distribution automation and distributed generation. The Smart Utility Networks allow communication between meters, load-management controllers, electric vehicle charging stations and the utility.

Scott Lang began his tenure with Silver Spring in 2004 as the founding chief executive. Lang brought to the company over 25 years of experience in the services and utility industries. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi as well as an Executive MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Under the leadership of Lang, the company was recognized as a 2008 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. Lang was named 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in the clean technology category, and Responsible CEO of the Year in the category for private company by CRO Magazine.

Nordic Windpower
Tom Carbone

This innovative company is best known for the development of its N-1000, 1-megawatt, two-blade wind turbine, which is considered lighter, and easier, to maintain and install. The turbine also offers a lower overall cost than traditional wind turbines, and is geared toward community wind, onsite generation and smaller wind farms. Since 2007, the company has invested over $36 million in technology. Nordic Windpower started out in Sweden, and is now based in the U.S. and in the UK.

Tom Carbone has plenty of wind energy technology experience under his belt. Carbone founded the renewable energy advisory firm, Reliablenergy, LLC and joined the Americas division of Vestas Wind Systems in 2003. He had served as president at Vestas from 2004, and tripled the company’s yearly order-intake from $300 million to over $1 billion. He also headed up Wartsila North America, growing the business to an installed base of 8,000 megawatts total.

Carbone earned his degree from Cornell University College of Engineering, School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering.

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

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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