Grundy Center company to be featured on History's "Modern Marvel - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grundy Center company to be featured on History's "Modern Marvels"

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GRUNDY CENTER (KWWL) -- An area business will soon be in the national spotlight. Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing in Grundy Center will be featured on the History Channel's "Modern Marvels."

In 2007, Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing burned to the ground.

"It was due to a grease batch. The traditional hot oil system that was required to heat our project ruptured," Operations Manager, Alan Burgess said.

For more than ten years the company has been one of the only bio-based grease and lubricant manufacturers in the nation.
It began as a temporary facility in Cedar Falls, and a few months ago moved to Grundy Center.

"Slowly after moving in we have began putting the pieces back together of grease manufacture with the idea that we were going to use microwave technology," Burgess said.

Technology patented by UNI, and commercialized by AMTek, a Cedar Rapids based company. Microwave technology is considered safer, more efficient and is drawing attention from the History Channel.

"The first step is a reaction that takes place in this case. You start with turning vegetable oils into soap which requires high heat," Burgess said.

And it's 392 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact. But once the microwave technology heats the oil, it's set to cool.

"Then you mill it to get consistency so the grease is smooth and from there it goes to testing and packaging," Burgess said.

Not bad for a company that's grease slipped off the tracks, when it had to start over.

"Modern Marvels" will be in Grundy Center Wednesday to film the episode for the History Channel. No word yet when that segment will air.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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