May 17, 2020

Mexico's smart grid market to grow

Admin
2 min
Mexico smart grid
Mexico is currently debating a series of far-reaching energy sector reforms that have the potential to shake up the country's monolithic state-owne...

Mexico is currently debating a series of far-reaching energy sector reforms that have the potential to shake up the country's monolithic state-owned enterprises. In addition to petroleum sector reforms, the Pena Nieto administration is looking to revamp the electric power sector by increasing the number of small-scale generators and making the state-owned monopoly utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) more efficient and competitive. As the political debate continues, regulations are already moving forward to develop smart grid infrastructure that will help enable the power sector reform efforts.

Mexico's energy regulator Comision Reguladora de Energia (CRE) is in the final stages of developing a smart grid roadmap to help spur a market that will cumulatively reach $12.1 billion by 2023, with annual spending ramping up from $205 million in 2014 to $2.1 billion per year in 2023, according to a new study released today by Northeast Group, LLC. This spending will be allocated across 17 smart grid market segments including smart metering, transmission and distribution network infrastructure and information technology.

“Mexico has all of the key characteristics to develop into a robust smart grid market,” according to Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. “Its government is working on developing a concrete regulatory framework and political leaders are looking to reduce electricity prices and incorporate small-scale generators. Smart grid infrastructure will be necessary to enable these changes. Above average distribution losses and electricity consumption rates mean that there is already a strong business case for smart meter deployments in Mexico, with other smart grid market segments to follow.”

CFE has been testing smart grid infrastructure for several years and has successfully completed a number of pilot projects using a variety of vendors and technologies. There has been a diversity of communications technologies employed in these projects. Future communications could potentially include telecom operators eager to expand their machine-to-machine (M2M) market offerings.

Northeast Group's Mexico Smart Grid: Market Forecast (2013-2023) Volume II study is available at www.northeast-group.com.Northeast Group, LLC is a Washington, D.C.-based smart grid market intelligence firm. Their research is focused on the smart grid opportunity in emerging market countries.      

 

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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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