Tracegrow’s operation is built on global megatrends with the need to resolve environmental challenges. Excessive consumption, population overgrowth, wasting natural resources and climate change are forcing societies to operate more efficiently and with lower emissions. We must find new, more ecological ways of using existing resources and be smarter in utilizing technologies for this purpose.
Arable land and food plants around the world are suffering from micronutrient deficiency. Land is becoming depleted and therefore produces lower yields. This has a negative impact on food production. Global warming only accelerates this trend. At the same time, the world’s population is growing and urbanization is taking over land from agriculture. In the interests of food security, higher yields from smaller cultivated areas will be required.
Agricultural land everywhere needs more trace elements such as Zinc and Manganese, which play a crucial role in creating balanced growth and healthy food production. Trace elements in the soil ultimately have a significant impact on the social, economic and ecological development of societies as well as on population health. It is estimated that some two billion people every year suffer from Zinc deficiency in their diet, and hundreds of thousands of people die because of it. The recommended daily amount of Zinc in people’s diet is 7–9 mg.
More than 10 billion alkaline batteries are manufactured in the world yearly. The annual increase in the number of used batteries is estimated at 5–6 percent. EU Member States have pledged to recycle approximately 50 percent of batteries by weight. This means approximately 125,000 tons of recycling per year, with Finland’s share of this being app. 2,000 tons.
The principle of alkaline batteries is based on the reaction between two trace elements, Zinc and Manganese. There are several organizations in the world recycling alkaline batteries, but their processes are unable to fully utilize all the elements such as Manganese, which in most of the cases ends up in landfills. Currently, large amounts of the alkaline batteries remain in storage or are stored at landfills, even though the EU expressly prohibits the final storage of alkaline batteries in landfills. Alkaline batteries contaminate the soil and cause eutrophication.
Humans are consuming the world’s natural resources at an accelerated rate. The growth of global population and rising living standards in developing countries further the consumption. The soil is excavated and natural resources are extracted from it to an extent that damages and destroys the environment.
According to recent statistics, 19,800 Millions of tons of Manganese and 12,484 Millions of tons of Zinc were extracted from the soil in 2016.
Clean technology, or “cleantech”, refers to products, services, processes and technologies that promote the sustainable use of natural resources and prevent or limit the negative environmental impact of business operations.
Tracegrow’s clean technology increases the value added recycling rate of alkaline batteries to over 80 percent. It enables us to recover the valuable trace elements used in the batteries. Our technology is the most efficient reprocessing method for alkaline batteries in the world.
The circular economy recognizes the fact that we cannot keep exploiting global natural resources indefinitely and must instead come up with smarter ways of using these resources. The circular economy is about keeping products, components and materials in circulation for as long as possible. While the circular economy is fully justified by environmental and climate considerations alone, it is also firmly based on economic growth, unlocking new jobs and uses of technology.
We don’t extract raw materials from the soil for our products, because our technology allows us to recover Zinc and Manganese that have already been extracted and used once. In a circular economy, the recovery and reprocessing of materials is the key.
Tracegrow has selected Pöyry as its partner for delivering project and engineering services around Tracegrow’s novel clean technology. The objective of the co-operation is to develop Tracegrow’s modular technology and plant concept for global deliveries. Pöyry’s services include engineering, project management, procurement and construction management services for the modularised production plants.
The pioneering production process of the world’s most ecological, premium-level micronutrients products has successfully started at Tracegrow’s production plant in Kärsämäki, Finland. The process equipment’s has been commissioned successfully.
Stockholm, 12th of April. Tracegrow was offered a spot in a seminar focusing on the topic that is getting increasingly important for all of us, whether we are aware of it or not. Climate transition. Transition has a potential in changing the world drastically both from the ecological and the economical point of view and unfortunately to the worse. Why? That question brings us back to the three topics covered in the title.