Scottish and South Korean Researchers Collaborate on CCS
The UK’s largest grouping of carbon capture and storage (CCS) researchers, Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS), has signed a strategic agreement with South Korea’s leading CCS research institute that will see scientists from both countries work together to develop cutting-edge technologies for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power generation and industry.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Edinburgh-based SCCS and Korea Carbon Capture and Sequestration R&D Center (KCRC) is the first such agreement to be signed between UK and South Korean CCS researchers.
As well as creating a framework for a joint programme of research, it will also enable the flow of knowledge between the two institutes and provide training opportunities for researchers in both the UK and South Korea.
CCS technology, which has the potential to capture large volumes of CO2 from facilities fed by fossil fuels and store it permanently underground, has a vital role to play in global efforts to limit global warming. However, a significant amount of research and development is needed to test the technology, as well as reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Professor Stefano Brandani, a member of the SCCS directorate and Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, said: “It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to build on our links with South Korea and establish a formal MoU with KCRC. International cooperation is an essential aspect for the successful deployment of CCS worldwide, and there are clear opportunities for fruitful joint research between KCRC and SCCS.”
The MoU marks another milestone in CCS collaboration between SCCS and South Korea. In December 2011, researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Yonsei University embarked on a three-year joint project to design an advanced process for producing power and hydrogen from the gasification of coal feedstock.
Dr Sang-Do Park, Director of KCRC, said: “Recognising the importance of CCS for the solution to climate change, the Korean government, as well as developed countries, makes significant investment to develop advanced CCS technologies. Being at the core of the Korean government’s CCS project, KCRC is strengthening international collaboration and networking. I am happy to get this MoU between SCCS and KCRC to establish the framework for CCS cooperation. Based on this MoU, I look forward to promoting cooperation with SCCS on innovative CCS technologies.”
Professor Brandani, who participated in the MoU signing ceremony on Friday in Jeju Island, South Korea, made a keynote speech at the 3rd Korea CCS Conference, the country’s annual showcase of work already under way on CO2 capture and storage technologies. The national-level conference was attended by over 450 delegates, highlighting the value being attached to the future role of CCS in the country’s energy sector.
The MoU between SCCS and KCRC will run for three years, with the potential to extend the collaboration.
SCCS, based in Edinburgh, is a research partnership of British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. Its researchers are engaged in high-level CCS research as well as joint projects with industry, with the aim of supporting the development and eventual commercialisation of CCS in the UK and abroad. More information at www.sccs.org.uk
KCRC has been tasked by the South Korean government to take forward the development of innovative CCS technology through the Korea CCS 2020 Project. The government will provide funding of around £110 million over nine years, between 2011 and 2019, in order to deploy the technology by 2020. KCRC is promoting international cooperation with universities and institutes around the world. More information at www.kcrc.re.kr
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.