May 17, 2020

Businessfriend Bridges the Gap Between "Social" and "Productivity"

energy digital
Social Media
social network
3 min
Energy industry gets "BUSI"
Click here to view this article in April's issue of Energy Digital In today's digital world, the importance of an online presence is an incre...


Click here to view this article in April's issue of Energy Digital


In today's digital world, the importance of an online presence is an increasingly critical aspect of business strategy, regardless of industry. Brands must be well connected and active in all the right networks, whether it involves attracting potential employees through LinkedIn, monitoring consumer perceptions via Facebook and Twitter, managing communications to different target groups via Google+ or all of the above. And while all of these major social networks serve an individual and important purpose, there's still something missing—a social utility designed to help businesses be more productive.

Introducing Businessfriend, a recently launched social media platform designed by business professionals for business professionals. Members on Businessfriend can create in-depth personal profiles and corporate pages, share and post updates (with the option to post to other social media platforms) and chat or video chat with others currently on Businessfriend—particularly effective in connecting staff and building on the culture within an organization. What's more, Businessfriend actually encourages more efficient workflow through the use of tabs including mail, a document manager for sharing files, a calendar to monitor work-related meetings and tasks, a notes section and contacts tab (DigiDex).

Unlike other social networks, “groups” serve as a useful tool connecting and informing employees on specific topics, while more detailed corporate pages featuring appealing layouts draw in the attention of professional relationships, partners or other interested parties. Contacts stored in the DigiDex can be filtered down to “inner circle” friends (personal friends, coworkers, etc.) and other Businessfriends, allowing users to be selective when posting updates and links to targeted groups.

If used as intended, Businessfriend can significantly increase productivity within almost any organization. Most social networks require daily tracking and significant effort to maintain, whereas Businessfriend can be used for most, if not all, of the user's daily communications within his/her company and outside networking—all while allowing the same “social” functions as other outlets and the ability to interconnect posts to them. It's taking corporate email accounts to the next level and bridging the gap between work performance and active engagement.

That comes as good news to the energy industry, comprised of the most technologically innovative companies in the world, who are failing to fully embrace the power of social networking. An estimated ten percent of energy companies maintain a blog, while only 50 percent have Facebook profiles and 60 percent have “limited profiles” on Twitter, according to DEER digital's findings presented in a 2012 Briefing. Clearly, there's a disconnect. The industry calls for a new platform that it can work out of, that streamlines communications, saving busy companies invaluable time.

Glen White, CEO and Founder of the network, and his team refer to the new concept as “BUSI,” short for Business Utility first with a Social Identity.

“It gives a positive spin on the relatively discouraging word 'busy,” White says. “BUSI is now the epitome of balance, specifically work-life. Meanwhile, culture—one of the most important aspects of any business' success—is fueled by the people and personalities behind the brand who are given more of a presence through this tool.”

Many of today's corporate environments make it difficult to connect or truly build a culture in the same way. Businessfriend not only helps professionals complete tasks and organize contacts (putting a face and profile to each name), but also encourages a sense of community and better communication throughout the organization.

Over the next year, Businessfriend is projected to attract tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of users. But the numbers aren't what's important, White explains.

“It's about productivity—helping professionals connect, organize and work more effectively amongst each other and in their respective industries,” says White. “We believe it will be a truly revolutionary tool for businesses across the US and, eventually, around the globe.”

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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