International Business Briefs: Nano-filters for groundwater, wind-up phones, wind farm, metal recycling, tax on e-waste, fuel cells, oil price rise

H2O Innovation has signed a contract worth US$360,000 with the Manitoba Department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs to install and commission a nanofiltration membrane system to treat the groundwater used to supply the community of Cormorant. The system will reduce high levels of hardness, total dissolved solids and trihalomethane, and will also eliminate iron, bacteria and viruses in the water.

A wind-up mobile phone charger has been launched in Bangkok by Japanese company, Fuso Rikaseihin, for markets in Southeast Asia and China, where power is not always available. It is priced at US$42, is hand held and can be used with Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and NTT Docomo phones. Five minutes of winding gives 20 minutes of power.

California’s largest wind farm has opened in the hills east of San Francisco. Owned by FPL energy, the largest US wind power producer, the plant will be able to produce energy for 75,000 homes.

IMCO Recycling Inc has devised a long term contract with Metal Conversions Ltd, to recycle their aluminium materials, which will be used to produce ingot, molten metal and deoxidation products. Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy required to make aluminium from ore and reduces emissions.

California Governor, Gray Davis has pushed through the Electronic Waste Recycling Act. Californians will now have to pay an extra US$6 – US$10 for every computer and TV. The money will help pay for removal of chemicals such as lead, cadmium and PCBs inside the circuit boards.

Fuel Cells Canada and Canada’s National Research Council’s Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation are installing a hydrogen-ready environmental chamber controlled for temperature, humidity and altitude. It will allow companies to test fuel cell vehicles and products in conditions that simulate Canada’s Northwest Territories, London and Mexico City – all from one location.

Oil prices climbed higher this week as cartel OPEC decided to trim production ceilings. Brent North Sea crude oil rose 33 cents a barrel to US$27. OPEC decided to cut back quotas to take account of increased output from Iraq.


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