Here’s what we are hearing:

Looks like Bloom Energy is behind Apple’s massive fuel cell farm

(Gigaom) couple sources that fuel cell maker Bloom Energy is the supplier behind Apple’s planned massive 5 MW fuel cell farm to be built at its data center in Maiden, N.C. However, neither Bloom Energy nor Apple would comment on any potential deal. Apple may already has a few Bloom fuel cells running on its campus. It would make sense if Bloom is involved. Last month, Apple unveiled that it planned to build one of the largest fuel cell farms at its data center in North Carolina. The planned 5 MW fuel cell farm is supposed to run on biogas (methane from organic waste) when installed, according to Apple. Bloom’s fuel cells are large boxes that suck up oxygen on one side and fuel (natural gas or biogas) on the other to produce power. That means that with the fuel cells (and a solar array that will be built) Apple’s data center will have a source of cleaner distributed power that isn’t coming from the local utility via the grid.

Momentive Performance Materials expands manufacturing operations in India

Momentive Performance Materials Inc., a global provider of silicones and advanced materials, announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility and application development center in Chennai, India. Spanning more than 15 acres, the state-of-the-art facility, which opened in 2009, focuses on manufacturing high-end specialty silicones to serve the growing needs of customers in India, the Middle East and South Asia. The expansion of the Chennai facility, along with the opening of a regional headquarters and global research and development center in Bangalore later this year, is part of Momentive’s long-standing commitment to India and the surrounding regions. Additionally, the Chennai facility has been designated to become a zero-discharge plant, underscoring Momentive’s commitment to sustainability. Local Momentive employees will participate in training programs on running the plant efficiently and in compliance with the highest safety standards.

CeramTec launches new, informative German website featuring a new design and expanded information

The German version of the CeramTec Group international website is now online with a completely new design. The website was completely overhauled and features clear menu structures and straightforward user navigation that leads visitors interested in technical ceramics to the desired information quickly and directly. The English-language version of the international CeramTec website will be online in spring 2012 and plans are underway to launch a Chinese and Spanish version as well.

Highly advanced TEM from FEI inaugurated at the Ernst Ruska-Center in Germany

FEI, a leading instrumentation company providing imaging and analysis systems for research and industry, today announced that a highly advanced microscope has been inaugurated at the Ernst Ruska-Center in Julich, Germany. This microscope was funded by ER-C’s “PICO” project, and is based on FEI’s Titan3 G2 60-300 scanning transmission electron microscope. It is one of only two of its kind in the world and the first one in Europe with chromatic aberration correction. With the new instrument, ER-C has reached a record resolution of 50 picometers, which allows scientists to resolve atomic structures to unprecedented levels.

Plibrico strengthens refractory coverage with new area manager

Plibrico Company is pleased to welcome Ed Moore as a new srea general manager for the Plibrico Refractory Materials Division. With his 20+ years of experience in refractory sales and marketing, Moore will be providing the highest level of customer service to Plibrico’s current customers in the Southern and Eastern United States. Moore will be based out of Plibrico’s sales office in Birmingham, Ala.

Innovnano launches redesigned website

Innovnano, the manufacturer of innovative nanostructured ceramic oxide powders and products, is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. Redesigned is an attractive, informative, easy-to-navigate site, with access to downloadable technical data and brochure material, the website also provides current news about Innovnano activities and the events it will be attending.