May 17, 2020

Solar Suitcases Catch Flight in Underdeveloped Countries

energy digital
Solar
solar suitcases
Soluxe Energy Soluti
Admin
2 min
Over 300,000 healthcare facilities affected
Thanks to a Berkeley, CA, obstetrician and her husband, doctors and their surgery patients half way around the world no longer face sudden power outa...

 

 

Thanks to a Berkeley, CA, obstetrician and her husband, doctors and their surgery patients half way around the world no longer face sudden power outages in the middle of operating room procedures.

To honor their innovative efforts, the couple has been awarded a Solar Flare Award by Soluxe Energy Solutions, a Connecticut-based energy advisor that helps homeowners lower monthly utility bills.

"We were thrilled to see stories of the solar-powered suitcase on CNN and PBS," said Jeffrey Mayer, CEO of Soluxe, "and we wanted to recognize Dr. Laura Stachel and Hal Aronson for their pioneering efforts to harness the sun's energy to save lives."

Dr. Stachel has estimated that over 300,000 health care facilities worldwide do not have adequate electricity.  She herself experienced the potential dangers of electric outages when the lights went out during a cesarean section procedure she was observing in Nigeria.

Working with her husband, a solar energy educator, Dr. Stachel created portable "solar suitcases" that deliver electricity and recharge batteries, designed for use in harsh environments. 

"Their innovative use of solar power addresses a life-threatening problem and stands as an inspiring example of how new ways of thinking about energy can improve the quality of life in the remotest parts of the globe," said Mayer

One of the hospitals that received solar suitcases reported that the death rate for women had decreased by a staggering 70% in the following year.  Dramatic outcomes like this led the couple to form a non-profit entity, We Care Solar, which now provides reliable solar energy kits to healthcare facilities throughout Africa, Asia and Central America.

Based in Darien, Connecticut, Soluxe helps homeowners reduce their monthly utility costs by installing rooftop solar and other energy efficiency technologies, often with traditional financing that requires no up front expenditures.

"While we cannot claim to save lives like Dr. Stachel and Mr. Aronson," Mayer said, "we can claim to improve household budgets so families are free to direct their disposable income to more important priorities. 

"Energy efficiency approaches like rooftop solar are now affordable for most American homeowners, and our job is to educate consumers about how to find the right solution and the right contractor for their needs."

SOURCE Soluxe Inc.

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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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