LA Cleantech Incubator receives funding
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) recently announced that it will create more than 1,000 jobs over the next five years with the help of a $200,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. The grant will fund key programs focused on advancing sustainable technology development and adoption in the Los Angeles region.
Since launching two years ago, LACI has incubated 25 companies that have received more than $24 million in investments. LACI and those companies have helped to create more than 100 direct jobs and an estimated 180 indirect jobs, while bringing innovative products and services to market.
Incubated companies operate in a variety of sectors including energy generation and efficiency, water conservation, electric transportation, recycling, waste management, sustainable materials and food production. LACI has provided these start-up companies with office space, executive coaching and mentoring and access to a network of experts and capital sources.
“On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I would like to thank the JPMorgan Chase Foundation for their generous support of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “LACI plays a key role creating jobs, building a stronger cleantech industry cluster and generating opportunities to train Angelenos in tomorrow's green careers, today.”
LACI works closely with the Mayor's office to identify, attract, and accelerate the growth of businesses with clean technologies that will support the city in meeting its environmental, renewable energy, energy efficiency and related goals.
In addition, LACI holds a close strategic relationship with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, acting as a scout in the region to identify and accelerate technology that supports their pursuit of innovative clean technologies for water conservation and renewable power.
“We're thrilled to have a true partner in JPMorgan Chase, whose global reach, deep capability, and strong corporate responsibility will help strengthen and extend our efforts in the Los Angeles region and beyond,” said Fred Walti II, Executive Director of LACI. “The substantial support of one of the world's leading financial institutions is symbolic of the effectiveness of our programs and confirms that we're collectively headed in the right direction.”
The JPMorgan grant will enable LACI to expand its core training and educational programs and launch a feasibility study on establishing an Innovation Fund to provide early-stage funding to start-ups.
Construction of LACI's permanent home – the La Kretz Innovation Campus – is now underway in downtown Los Angeles' Arts District. Once the campus opens in 2015, LACI is expected to accelerate the growth of dozens more promising companies and entrepreneurs in world-class facilities that include wet labs, dry labs, prototype manufacturing space, workforce training and strategically aligned partners, all in one location.
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.