Siemens provides EV charging for Leipzig’s buses
In a recent press release, Siemens gave details of its EV charging infrastructure in Leipzig, Germany, which will facilitate its electric bus network.
Capable of powering 21 low-floor vehicles, the company will be providing VDL Bus & Coach with charging stations on lines 74, 76 and 89, as well as the Lindenau bus depot. Siemens projects that its systems will be operational in 2021.
The overture in a series of smart energy developments which will see Leipzig transform its urban spaces to be more sustainable and energy-efficient (see: Mobility Strategy 2030). “The emphasis is on making growth ecologically, socially and economically balanced,” stated Burkhard Jung, Mayor of Leipzig.
Transforming city infrastructure
Realising that making the transition to electric vehicles will not occur smoothly without laying sufficient infrastructure first, Boris Höltermann, Managing Director of VDL, said that he was glad to have Siemens as a partner for this endeavour.
“Switching to electric bus transport requires not only the vehicles but also an efficient charging infrastructure that guarantees reliable operation. We are pleased to have Siemens with its widely diversified portfolio and expertise as our partner in this project.”
Earlier this year, Siemens, no stranger to reimagining urban spaces with smart energy capabilities, announced the creation of the UK’s first ‘electric avenue’ in Westminster, London.
This brought the total amount of converted lamp EV charging points in the area to 296, with plans by the Westminster City Council to bring this number up to 1,000 within one year.
Approaching the same issue from a different direction, Siemens’ work on Leipzig’s public transport will have even better ‘green credentials’ as a more eco-friendly form of mass transportation.
Smart energy and the cities of the future
Siemens’ plan involves equipping four terminal stations with five Sicharge UC 600 charging units - a fast-charging system with 450 kW of power. All components of the compact design, including connections, transformers and power distribution will be integrated into the grid.
In addition, the company will be installing 21 Sicharge UC 100 units (power output 100 kW) for overnight charging and pauses in operation.
Jean-Christoph Heyne, Head of Future Grids at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, emphasised that the project would require broad collaboration between multiple parties and industries to achieve:
“I’m confident that, together with VDL and the Leipzig transport operator LVB, we will make the transition to electric buses with ease.
“eBus depots will play a particularly important role in the cities of the future. During the planning stage, it is important to design the overall system according to the customer’s individual needs, including power supply, charging technology and control of the charging processes.
“This requires the best possible combination of the energy, mobility, and building worlds,” he said.
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.