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February 15, 2013
UNI announces microwave-technology license agreement
University of Northern Iowa's (www.uni.edu)"Modern Marvel" has been licensed for commercialization by Iowa company Marion Mixers (Cedar Rapids, Iowa; www.marionmixers.com). Its movement into the market has the potential to reduce U.S. energy consumption by 8.5%, or 338 million bbl/yr of oil equivalent, at an annual cost savings of $31 billion.
This patented technology, invented at the UNI National Ag-Based Lubricants (UNI-NABL) Center by center director Lou Honary and associate director Wes James, allows the use of industrial microwaves to process chemicals, food, biobased lubricants and greases and many of the other products that are currently processed using fuel oil or gas. Not only does this process reduce energy consumption, it also improves safety and process time (for more process details, see Chem. Eng., February 2012; www.che.com/chementator/8941.html).
Marion Mixers has joined AMTek Microwave Systems (Cedar Rapids, Iowa; www.4amtek.com), to make this technology available commercially.
More information about the technology, including video highlights from NABL and Marion Mixers can be found at www.bcs.uni.edu/openhouse.
UNI-NABL is a non-profit, university-based research and testing facility dedicated to the advancement of biobased lubricants. The center was established in 1991 through the collaborative efforts of UNI, the state of Iowa, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the Iowa Soybean Assn./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 www.uni.edu/nabl.