An Ultra-Efficient LED Bulb Below $15?
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Written by John Shimkus
Light Emitting Diodes, more commonly known as LEDs, are the most energy efficient lighting available with the exception of natural sunlight itself. While homes and businesses improve their energy efficiency to lower electricity bills, lighting is a chief concern. Most people are aware of the energy sucking drawbacks of traditional incandescent light bulbs, and tend to turn to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) instead of LEDs primarily for price point. CFLs are more on-par with the initial costs of incandescent bulbs than their LED counterparts, but contain harmful compounds such as mercury, which makes discarding the bulbs a potential danger. Now, a partnership between Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies may see the price of LEDs finally coming down.
Lighting Science Group is one of the world’s premier LED lighting solutions companies and Dixon Technologies is an Indian-based manufacturer of electronics technology. The two partners have recently unveiled their first joint product, an omnidirectional 60-watt equivalent A19 LED bulb that will sell for less than $15. Lighting Science Group will introduce the bulb to India’s lighting market late this year, with an international release expected in early 2012.
"With 800 million incandescent light bulbs and 300 million CFLs sold in India each year, the market is ripe for these highly efficient, long lasting and nontoxic products," says Atul Lall, deputy managing director of Dixon Technologies. "The economic and environmental implications of this partnership are significant: old-style light bulbs use 60 billion units of electricity each year, seven percent of India's total, and our Lighting Science Group Definity® lamps could save over 70 percent of that, equivalent to 32 coal fired plants with 500MW capacity."
The Lighting Science Definity® bulb screws in just like its incandescent predecessor, but uses 85 percent less electricity. When compared to CFLs, the bulb saves 35 percent more energy, and contains no toxic mercury. While the initial cost of just under $15 per bulb may still terrify the bargain shopper, the average payback time in energy savings is only eight months, and the bulb has a lifespan of about eight years. The full line of the new Definity® products will include street lights, outdoor and industrial lighting fixtures and replacement bulbs.
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.