Itronics Inc. is the world's only fully integrated photochemical recycling company. It provides photochemical waste collection services, recovers and refines silver from the photochemicals, manufactures and blends liquid fertilizers - GOLD'n GRO from the processed residual, and sells and distributes a line of liquid fertilizers developed for specific applications, such as golf and lawn turf maintenance programs, vegetables, wine grapes, citrus and evergreens.
To become a multi-billion dollar corporation by utilizing its unique and proprietary technologies to become the world's leading recycler of used chemicals into the fertilizer and mining markets.
Itronics is now expanding to commercial levels in photochemical recycling and fertilizer manufacturing and sales.
- Regulatory management of silver-bearing waste streams is required under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency RCRA regulations in which silver bearing waste is classified as a characteristic toxic waste with the waste code D-011. Used photographic liquids contain silver and are managed under these regulations. As receiving waters in communities throughout the United States are becoming more contaminated, the community treatment plants are being required to reduce the amount of metals, including silver, allowed to be disposed to sewer.
- Regulatory authorities are encouraging the development of recycling technologies that increase the amount of materials that are used beneficially, thereby reducing waste and benefiting the environment. This is a trend that is strengthening throughout the world as the cost of natural resources continues to increase.
- Metal economists are predicting that silver will be in short supply for years to come.
- Itronics proprietary technology recovers 99.997% of the silver contained in used photochemicals versus 90-95% for competitors.
- Federal regulations are mandating the establishment of "buy recycled" products throughout the United States.
- Itronics proprietary technology returns the demetallized photochemical to beneficial use in fertilizer.
- Competitors incinerate or landfill their partially desilvered chemicals.
- Globally the United States is preceding other countries in environmental regulation and management.
- Use of silver in 2006 was 840.5 million ounces worldwide, down slightly from the previous year. Photography accounted for 145.8 million ounces. Silver use in photographic film has been decreasing. Digital imaging is growing but will be supplemented by conventional photography well into the future. Photobyproduct manufacturers expect conventional photography to continue.
Environmental regulations provide guidelines for discharge of photochemical wastes into sanitary sewer systems and prohibit discharge directly into the environment without treatment. Silver recovery is encouraged by the regulations and there are specific provisions that provide for recycling.
Photochemicals are standardized throughout the world. There are market opportunities in every country that is large enough to provide a sufficient supply of used photochemicals, as the world population increases and the level of income in less developed countries improves, "rest of world" markets will continue to grow at above average rates.
Market for Used Photochemicals
There are two large potential markets for which products utilizing demetallized-reconditioned photochemicals can be developed. These include:
- Silver and gold extraction chemicals for mining:
- Fertilizer products: Itronics chose to develop fertilizers first because fertilizer development can be done on a smaller scale
Itronics' proprietary technology, which totally removes silver from the waste stream and returns chemicals to beneficial use in fertilizer, provides a significant competitive edge. Itronics provides photobyproduct solution pick-up services from photochemical waste generators (hospitals, x-ray laboratories, photographic developers, and the like), special distillation equipment that reduces the volume of photowaste by 90%, and processing of the photochemicals to recover the silver and make the residual chemical solution into a liquid fertilizer with demonstrated superior properties. GOLD'n GRO fertilizer is certifiably free of hazardous heavy metal and stands out in its ability to meet new environmental regulations, such as California's Proposition 65.
United States Fertilizer Market
This market is mature, but in a long-term growth phase. The urban fertilizer market is growing rapidly. The total market for fertilizers in the United States exceeds $6 billion. The urban market is in the range of $1 billion and growing. A major segment of the urban market is golf courses. Many new golf courses are being built each year to satisfy the recreational demands of an aging US population. The golf course market is being targeted for Itronics' GOLD'n GRO fertilizers. Other high value markets such as ornamentals, professional specialty growers and wine grapes are being targeted.
Itronics has spent more than a decade and $20 million perfecting its proprietary processes and obtaining the GOLD'n GROTM trademark for its fertilizers. Faced with high demand for its fertilizer and the ongoing production of photowaste, Itronics is in the process of changing from a small research and development firm into a large commercial processing and manufacturing company. Additionally, the application of Itronics' thiosulfate leaching technology to the mining sector represents a strong initiative by the company to diversify its proprietary process by applying it to various industries.
A number of important milestones have been accomplished, signifying completion of the development phase:
- In 2000 the company announced that its subsidiary, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc., successfully completed start-up operations at its new Nevada fertilizer plant, the first of its kind to be built anywhere in the world.
- The company announced that it has developed access to the photochemical waste necessary to operate its new liquid fertilizer factory at full capacity. This allows the company to focus on marketing its GOLD’n GRO tm line of multinutrient liquid fertilizer products to golf courses and growers of crops in California and the West.
- The company renewed its distribution contract with the largest fertilizer distributor in the Western US.
- Itronics identified an additional source of waste, similar to photowaste, which it may be able to recycle at its new Reno/Stead facility.
- The company initiated discussions with a major new potential customer that would provide more than 100,000 gallons of raw materials a month for the new facility.
- The company has successfully completed comparison field tests on numerous large acreage crops including tomatoes, wine grapes, silage corn, alfalfa, and cotton.
The company achieved a positive gross profit in the second quarter of 2003, the first ever:
- Sales up 25% for full year 2007 at 2.3 million.
- Positive gross profit for full year 2007.
- Expect sales to increase in 2008 to about $4 Million.
- Targeting a 35% gross margin with increase to 60% when Gold'nGro Guardian sales are established.
- Registering Gold'nGro Guardian, the deer repellant fertilizer in 2008.
Photo Recycling Services
Photoliquid Collection & Processing
Fertilizer Base Liquid