May 17, 2020

iPod Creator Tony Fadell Revolutionizes Thermostats

energy digital
new thermostat
mac thermostat
apple thermo
2 min
Leaders of the iPod and iPhone develop the Nest, an energy saving, modern thermostat to hit markets by mid-November
The former Apple executive behind the iPod and iPhone, Tony Fadell, revolutionizes the conventional thermostat, helping homeowners save money and reduc...

The former Apple executive behind the iPod and iPhone, Tony Fadell, revolutionizes the conventional thermostat, helping homeowners save money and reduce energy consumption. Called the Nest, the futuristic, easy to use device has motion-tracking sensors that detect the presence of people to adjust temperatures accordingly and is smart enough to learn and mimic your temperature setting habits.

“We've built the world's first learning thermostat—a thermostat for the iPhone generation,” Mr. Fadell told the New York Times.

See how smart it is:


The Nest will hit markets by mid-November for $249, but could pay for itself well within a year with minimal effort. Every degree a home is kept cooler in colder months or warmer in hotter months results in 5 percent of energy savings. Shifting habits by just a few degrees over the course of a year easily reduces energy bills by enough to cover the initial cost of the device and then some.


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Temperatures are set by turning the outer ring and pushing in the ring until it clicks. As the homeowner sets the thermostat at different times of the day, the Nest learns those daily settings and adapts to further changes. Furthermore, if the person is away from the home, the Nest can detect the absence and switch to an “auto away” setting for lower energy use. It can be programmed, but doesn't need to be since it learns the homeowner's preferences.

Connected to Wi-Fi, the Nest can be remotely controlled by an iPhone or laptop. The Nest will initially be available on the company's Web site and Best Buy's Web site.


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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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