May 17, 2020

How to Save Energy this Thanksgiving

energy digital
saving energy
Thanksgiving
Direct Energy
Admin
3 min
Beware of the energy zombies!
Thanksgiving is this week and before you know it, you'll be busy preparing that big Thanksgiving meal and your family and friends will be coming o...

 

Thanksgiving is this week and before you know it, you'll be busy preparing that big Thanksgiving meal and your family and friends will be coming over. However, don't let energy zombies be one of your guests. Energy zombies are lurking everywhere in your home, from your cell phone chargers to your computer monitors and even your oven. Zombie electronics are those household appliances and devices that mindlessly use energy and eat away at your energy bill, even when you think they are turned off.

TEN WAYS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

When it comes to cooking a feast like Thanksgiving, electricity bills can suffer. The average weight per turkey is 16 pounds. It is recommended to cook a thawed, stuffed turkey of that size for at least 4-4.5 hours in an electric oven set at 350 degrees. An electric oven set at 350 degrees for an hour uses 2 kWh of electricity. Therefore, you could be consuming roughly 8 kWh of electricity just to cook your turkey, without including side dishes.

Read More in Energy Digital's November Issue

With all of the other additional expenses that the holidays ensue, your monthly electricity bill shouldn't be one of them. Help combat energy zombies in your home that gobble up unnecessary energy consumption while still relishing in all of the food and fun during the holidays. Direct Energy offers the following tips for carving down your kWh usage this Thanksgiving:

  • During the hustle and bustle of the day, don't forget to turn off the oven when you're done cooking and don't leave it on longer than it has to be. Use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.

  • Cook with a snug-fitting lid on your pans. This helps to retain the heat, which means you can cook at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time.

  • Use the microwave in place of the oven, when possible. Microwaves use less than half the power of a regular oven.

  • Open your oven door only when necessary. Each time the oven door is open, 25 to 50 degrees of heat is lost, causing your oven to work harder to regain that lost heat and thus, delaying the cooking process of your turkey.

  • Consider using the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes because it uses less water.

  • Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and use the air-drying setting if you have it. It reduces the energy use by 7 percent.

  • If you have the oven on all day while food is also cooking on the stove, you can probably turn the heat down in the home a bit. The heat from your oven, not to mention dinner guests, should keep your home warmer than usual, and your furnace won't have to work as hard.

  • Use an ice chest or cooler for drinks if you're hosting a large group. This cuts down on wasting electricity when the refrigerator door is opened and closed frequently.

  • To use your cook-top range as efficiently as possible, choose pots and pans that are relatively the same size as the burner you're cooking on. This is the best way to effectively heat up food without wasting energy.

For more energy saving tips and to see our very own energy zombies, Chunk and Rita Shambles, in action, visit www.youtube.com/thedirectenergy. Direct Energy also has non-Zombie energy experts available for interview if you would like to help them fight the energy zombie apocalypse. Watch the videos and good luck out there.

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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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