International business news in short

In this week’s international business news in short, Earth Day, on 22 April, brought forth a rash of environmental initiatives and announcements, including a statement from a battery industry body that lead-acid batteries have one of the highest recycling rates, the launch of an environmentally-friendly printing machine, and a new high efficiency solar cell.

Lead-acid batteries top the list of recycled products, says Battery Council International (BCI), with more than 93% of lead from spent lead batteries – some two billion pounds – being recycled each year in the US and reused to produce new batteries. BCI, which represents lead battery manufacturers and recyclers has tracked lead recycling rate from spent truck, motorcycle, marine and other lead-acid batteries since 1987. The high rate of recycling is due to co-operation by motorists who turn in spent batteries when they buy new ones, says BCI.

The printing industry is now to receive its most ‘green’ machine – the new DocuColor iGen3 Digital Production Press, which has been developed with the environment in mind, says manufacturer, Xerox. The printer meets Xerox’s noise and emission standards for ozone, dust and volatile organic compounds. As well as this, 80% by weight of the waste generated by the machine, such as packaging and dry toner, can be returned, reused or recycled.

In the world of renewable energy, Texan power company, TXU, has marked Earth Day by announcing that the company leads Texas in wind power, and Texas leads the country in the technology. Last year, as wind power production in Texas soared with a record number of wind turbines, TXU led the way with 382 megawatts of the 916 megawatts installed, winning the Utility Leadership Award from the American Wind Energy Association.

More renewable energy news comes from solar cell producer IXYS, with the launch of its high efficiency single-crystal silicon-based solar cell technology, under the IXOLAR brand name. The move allows IXYS to expand its offerings in the market to include the front-end solar cells, and to expand its products under its ‘green-energy’ initiative.

More future energy technology news includes an announcement by Avista Labs and Aperion Energy that they have reached an agreement to develop and market small-scale backup power solutions using proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Aperion will integrate Avista Labs’ fuel cell systems with other components, including hydrogen fuel solutions, and will eventually include Aperion’s patented high-efficiency power electronics.

Finally, World Tree Technologies Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, has announced the availability of its exclusive Empress Jewels – a variety of hardwood tree that the company claims could lead the international fight against global warming. The trees have an extremely high growth rate, are self-generating, greenhouse gas consuming, and have high quality wood. They consume as much as four times the carbon dioxide, emit four times the oxygen and grow at approximately four times the rate of other comparable trees, says the company.

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