May 17, 2020

Verizon to make Mobile Phones Energy Efficient

2 min
Verizon signs a memorandum of understanding with the National Renewable Energy Research Laboratory for mobile energy efficiency



Wireless telecommunications providers—a.k.a. mobile phone companies—are becoming some of the most powerful and profitable entities in the world.  However, as their sphere of influence increases, so does their carbon footprint.  Always on mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers are making their way into the homes and businesses of billions of people around the world. Telecommunications giant Verizon has decided to seek help from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to improve energy efficiency in its products and for the industry as a whole.

Verizon has signed a memorandum of understanding with NREL to work on two key areas.  First, the company seeks to run its data centers and other operations more energy efficiently.  Second, it wants to work toward developing new technologies that will use the Verizon network to cut energy use at homes and businesses.   


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“Verizon has taken significant steps in becoming a greener more energy-efficient company,” says Verizon sustainability officer James Gowen. “By partnering with one of the top science and technology labs in the world, we’ll be able to achieve even greater efficiencies in a cost-effective fashion.”

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector accounts for three percent of total electricity consumption in the U.S., over half in telecommunications alone.  Internationally, the ICT industry accounted for two percent of global carbon emissions in 2007.  That figure is prior to the iPhone and greater smartphone revolution, so one can only imagine how that percentage has increased since. 

According to the Climate Group’s SMART 2020 report, the ITC industry produced 0.53 billion tons of emissions in 2002, and is on track for 1.43 gigatons by 2020 if nothing is done now to curb the trend. 


Verizon has already taken steps to boost energy efficiency.  In early 2011, the company began a home energy management pilot program in New Jersey.  It has also invested into start-up company Concert, which has developed a home and building energy management system that interfaces with the Verizon 3G network.  NREL’s extensive experience in energy efficient data centers and energy management software will likely benefit Verizon greatly in its efforts. 

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

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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