Home Depot & Wal-Mart Prepare for Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene is about to slam into the east coast of the United States. As if the earthquake earlier this week wasn’t enough to shake up the region, a massive storm is going to wreak havoc on communities along the U.S. coast, and both communities and businesses are preparing for the onslaught. Stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s are seeing unprecedented sales of disaster preparedness goods such as generators, flashlights, batteries and more.
Throughout North Carolina, where the storm is expected to strike first, lines at the Kitty Hawk Home Depot have been out the door, and the Ace Hardware store in Elizabeth City has reported tripled sales.
"It's always like this just before a storm," said Home Depot employee John Robbins. "With everyone saying this is going to be a bad one, no one is leaving anything to chance."
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK
However, while stores may be seeing a boom in sales now, storm like this traditionally result in a dramatic drop in shopping as would-be customers hunker down in their homes to avoid the brutal conditions outside. Weather research firm Planalytics estimates that hurricane Irene will stop 80 million shoppers form hitting stores this weekend. This is going to be a further hit to retailers as this is a crucial back-to-school weekend, and most stores pull in roughly 25 percent of their yearly earnings at back-to-school time.
The current demand for hurricane supplies might help balance the loss in earnings over the weekend when the storm hits. "It's unlike anything we've seen in the modern era," says Planalytics COO Scott Bernhardt.
The top two hone improvement stores in the U.S., Home Depot and Lowe’s Inc., both have their own logistics processes for disaster situations. Their teams are working to ensure adequate supply of hurricane supplies needed before, during, and after the storm. Items like generators, flashlights and batteries are at the top of the list. The companies are also focusing on cleanup supplies in case of flooding.
Wal-Mart is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make sure its stores have all the items to comprise the agency’s emergency preparedness kits. "We've been activated since last week since this started. We're pretty much monitoring and coordinating on a regular basis as Irene is moving up the East Coast," says Wal-Mart Stores Inc. senior director Mark Cooper.
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.