May 17, 2020

Pay Up! Public Electric Outlets May Cost Money

Sony
smart plug
Electric
electricity
Admin
2 min
The free lunch is over. A new Sony electric outlet will have patrons paying for electricity in public places
Geeze, as if the world wasnt a cruel, expensive, cash-hungry dump already—news just broke that Sony just came out with a new technology to moneti...

Geeze, as if the world wasn’t a cruel, expensive, cash-hungry dump already—news just broke that Sony just came out with a new technology to monetize electricity use at public places. The new electrical outlets, so smugly called, “smart” outlets, will track a user’s energy use, ultimately charging them for energy they consume publicly while charging their devices.

Apparently, coffee shops are the envious lords in the push towards pay-per-use electrical outlets. Companies like Starbucks are sick and tired of funding the electrical use of laptop-loiterers who spend the entire day leeching the company’s electricity, while only paying for a $3 dollar coffee. These coffee shop outlet-hogs do limit available seating for new influxes of customers, but more so they are downright annoying, like a couch-surfing house guest who never leaves.

However, these new devices have a very passive-aggressive way of cutting off a customer’s energy supply. After a determined length of time the device shuts off the user’s supply of power, until their battery drains. Then users are prompted to log-in and pay for their electricity, or forego their energy use altogether.

VIDEO: SONY SMART-ENERGY SOLUTION

While we all need to be more eco-conscious and aware of our energy use, I am not entirely convinced that we should foot our share of the energy bill at public places. It is not as if customers are charging their electric RV campers at Coffee Bean, what they are charging must cost pennies to the companies whose mark-ups ultimately make them five-fold profits.

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Ultimately, coffee is easily made at home. Nobody goes to Starbucks for their coffee. The reason why the majority of people go to coffee shops is to use their laptops in a public setting. Coffee shops are a procrastinator’s last resort, a caffeinated oasis pushing lingerers to finally get work done under the scrutiny of the judging public’s glare.

Coffee shops have to submit to their buying demographic before fair-weathered customers move their business to donut shops who don't charge them for electricity, and charge less for the same disappointing coffee.  

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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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