Steam Turbines Gain Popularity in Asia-Pacific
LONDON, UK- The rising population and rapid industrialization of Asia-Pacific is intensifying electricity demand in the region, and the development of clean coal technologies is contributing further to the growing popularity of steam turbines, according to a new report by energy intelligence company GlobalData.
The new report shows that thermal energy has long been the region’s most commonly used source of energy for electricity generation, though the region’s move towards alternative energy sources, while relatively slow due to economic reasons, may threaten future demand for steam turbines.
Revenue from the steam turbines market in the Asia-Pacific region began increasing in 2000, starting a trend which continued until 2007. In 2000, the revenue from this market was around $1.8 billion, which increased to $5.5 billion in 2007. Then, the financial crisis led to a fall in investments in steam turbines in 2008 and 2009. However, with the revival of the economy in 2010, revenues shot up to an estimated $9.1 billion in 2011. The steam turbine market will continue to thrive in the coming years, due to the increasing demand for electricity and the dominance of thermal sources in the electricity generation market.
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The Chinese national companies leading the Asia-Pacific steam turbine market are benefitting most from the popularity of steam. The Shanghai Electric Group, which has been leading the Asia-Pacific steam turbine market for the last few years, holds a share of around 39% of the regional market, more than any other manufacturers in the business. Its nearest rival, Dongfang Electric Company, has an 18% share of the market. Other key players include Harbin Turbine, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Nanjing Turbine & Electric Machinery, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
The installed capacity for thermal energy in the Asia-Pacific region stood at 669 gigawatts (GW) in 2000. The installed capacity for 2011 is estimated at 1372.5 GW, representing a CAGR of 6.8% over the period 2000–2011. The installed capacity is expected to follow the same trend during 2012–2020, resulting in a total installed capacity of 1969.3 GW.
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.