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A University of Northern Iowa patent-pending technology will be filmed this week for a segment of "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel.
UNI researchers worked with an Iowa-based industrial microwave company to make bio-based grease by using microwaves, which is not only safer, but cuts manufacturing time and improves product quality. This discovery and UNI-National Ag-Based Lubricants Center director Lou Honary – a co-inventor of the technology – will be featured in the segment for the popular documentary television series, which celebrates ingenuity, invention and imagination.
This new grease-making technology entered into the commercialization stage with AMTek, a Cedar Rapids-based industrial microwaves manufacturer that built and tested a scaled-up reactor to make production quantity batches of grease. The product manufacturing is performed by Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing Inc. in Grundy Center using two AMTek 75-kilowatt microwave transmitters and an 800-gallon reactor.
"When we heard that the History Channel was interested in featuring our new system as a 'Modern Marvels' segment, we got excited about the additional exposure to bio-based products," said Alan Burgess, manager of operations at ELM.
Honary is happy with the notoriety this technology is bringing.
"We already have commitments from two trade journals to feature this technology as cover story, and the History Channel broadcast is bound to provide broader exposure for this technology, which has positive environmental and economic implications," he said.
The "Modern Marvels" segment showing the microwave bio-based grease manufacturing is anticipated to be ready for broadcast early next year.
UNI-NABL is a non-profit, university-based research and testing facility dedicated to the advancement of bio-based lubricants. The center was established in 1991 through the collaborative efforts of UNI, the state of Iowa, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Soybean Association/Iowa Soybean Promotion Board. UNI-NABL's research has resulted in the commercialization of more than 30 soybean-oil-based industrial lubricants and greases. For more information about UNI-NABL, visit http://www.uni.edu/nabl.
ELM is a privately owned company formed in 2000 to commercialize bio-based lubricant and grease technology created at the University of Northern Iowa's National Ag-based Lubricants Center. The company is a leading manufacturer of bio-based products and markets its products through select distributors and a private label. For more information, visit http://www.elmusa.com.
AMTek Inc., an Iowa-based company with a network of dealers and distributors around the world, has become the world leader in food tempering and cooking. AMTek partners with companies, such as ELM, to develop and improve heating, defrosting and drying applications for companies in the food, mineral, agricultural and bio-fuels industries, among others. For more information, visit http://www.4AMTek.com or call 877-365-2008.