Here’s what we’re hearing (from press releases, news stories and blogs)

Lancaster Products introduces the Model K-3.5 Hi-intensive industrial mixer

Lancaster Products has added the new model K-3.5 Mixer to our K-Series of Counter Current Hi-Intensive Industrial Mixers—a line of rugged, economical mixers—to its product line. With a working volume of 6 cu. ft., or 170 liters, the Model K-3.5 Mixer is designed primarily for limited or prototype production. This particular K-3.5 mixer was recently delivered for use in mixing precision – glass batch, where highest quality batch mix is of greatest importance. Some of the other industries that can benefit from the use of the Lancaster K-Series Mixers are: catalysts, proppants, refractories, ceramics, batteries, utilities, soaps, wherever the utmost in mixing or mix-pelletizing is required.

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. and UPC Technology Corporation sign joint venture agreement for phenolic resins production in China

Momentive Union will build its first manufacturing plant in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China, adjacent to an existing UPC Technology Chemical manufacturing complex. The new plant will produce a full range of specialty novolac and resole phenolic resins, sold under industry-leading trade names including Bakelite resins and Durite resins. These materials are used in applications including refractories, friction, abrasives and electronics.

A brighter way to make solar cells

A new optical furnace developed by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, heats up solar wafers by focusing light on them-a much more efficient process that uses about half the energy of a conventional furnace. More importantly, the new design also uses light to remove certain impurities from the silicon wafers, a step that can improve the power output of finished cells.

Western Lithium’s Nevada project could support low-cost lithium production

Canada’s Western Lithium USA Corp said a pre-feasibility study for its flagship project in Nevada showed it could support low cost lithium production and could potentially double production in four years. The company, which produces high quality lithium carbonate—used in lithium-ion batteries, ceramics and glass—said the initial startup capital for the Kings Valley Lithium project is expected to be about $248-million.