May 17, 2020

Latin America biofuels highlighted

Admin
3 min
Biofuels in Latin America
What are the major issues facing Latin Americas burgeoning biofuels market? What impact will EU and U.S. policies have on millers and producers?What ca...

What are the major issues facing Latin America’s burgeoning biofuels market? What impact will EU and U.S. policies have on millers and producers? What can investors expect from the Latin American market? Apart from Brazil, who are the movers and shakers in Latin American ethanol production and what do they think about the future? These questions and more will be addressed at the third annual F.O. Licht’s Ethanol Latin America conference in early December.

F.O. Licht’s Third Annual Ethanol Latin America conference will be held Dec. 2-4 at the InterContinental Hotel in Cali, Columbia. This completely unique event focuses on the prospects and pressures facing the fast-growing Latin American ethanol producers and their markets. A host of top-level speakers will share their insights and views on the region’s production and potential and attendees will be given access to information on all aspects of the market.

“Latin America is seeing new capacity build with countries such as Colombia, Panama, Peru and Mexico all attracting new investments in biofuels,” says Michael Grech, F.O. Licht.

This year’s Ethanol Latin America is taking place at a time when new mandates, a push for higher blends and new trading opportunities are opening up across Central and South America.

“Latin America is also ideal for 2G ethanol as it can use the bagasse and other waste from sugarcane and convert it into cellulosic ethanol,” Grech says. “This is the way forward and we will be seeing new plants being built to produce 2G ethanol. Countries in Latin America such as Colombia are also looking at increasing their blending mandate which should also result in new investments in the region.”

Colombian potential

Colombia has huge potential for producing biofuels,” said Johan Martinez, director of Renewable Energy and New Business from sugarcane producers association Asocaña, who is one of the key speakers at F.O. Licht’s Ethanol Latin America conference.

There is plenty of land available (more than five million hectares) that is suitable for sugarcane production. The government has to give clear signals of stability to the investors in order to develop this potential. Those new areas that can be planted include land currently dedicated to cattle raising, which will have to be conditioned to agriculture.”

Martinez also sees strong potential for cellulosic ethanol production in Colombia for the future. “Cellulosic ethanol is the next step for domestic sugarcane producers. There is plenty availability of biomass that can be converted into ethanol. The development of this production will depend on the availability and the cost of implementation of such technologies,” Martinez says.

A panel of top-level industry experts will join Martinez at  F.O. Licht’s Ethanol Latin America, including: Benito Lopez Martinez, director of BIOMEX; Alzbeta Klein, director at the IFC; Martin Fraguio, executive director of MAIZAR; and Djalma Teixeira De Lima Filho, president at Riopaila Castilla among many others.

Ethanol Latin America Conference has been designed to give attendees an opportunity to meet, network and do business with decision-makers from across Latin America. This event is the only ethanol and biofuels event that focuses on what is happening in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico and Argentina.

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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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