Midwest tech is leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Forbes says

⚙️ MANUFACTURING:

  • The Midwest is leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) with promising tech sectors transforming traditional manufacturing, Forbes reports. Smart technologies, connected technologies, and artificial intelligence are key elements. Ford, John Deere, Medtronic, mHUB, P33, Molex, UL, Impossible Objects, and Xaptum are some of the companies advancing Industry 4.0 and fueling both the regional and national economies.

  • An engineer for Ford discusses the company’s use of advanced digital technology to transform operations during Industry 4.0, in IndustryWeek.

  • An Argonne National Laboratory researcher led a project to 3D print a weather station to determine its accuracy and ability to hold up to the elements compared with a commercial-grade station. More testing is necessary, but the 3D-printed parts and low-cost sensors met preliminary performance standards and could be a low-cost way to track environmental conditions, especially in rural areas.

🌱 BIOMATERIAL:

  • Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently partnered with Spiber to expand bio-polymer production. ADM’s vice president of bioactives provides details on the technology and what it means for the future and commercialization of sustainable materials, in Biofuels Digest.

  • CVR Energy is considering adding a biodiesel production unit at its refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, reports Biodiesel Magazine. It already approved engineering designs and new equipment purchases to convert an Oklahoma refinery to renewable diesel production.

🌊 WATER: The University of Cincinnati installed new equipment to gather and analyze real-time information about the dynamics of rivers, groundwater, and watersheds. The tools will transmit information wirelessly, even during storms and floods. “Nobody’s ever done this three-dimensional spatial monitoring like what you see here,” said National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow Corey Wallace.

🏭 CARBON CAPTURE: The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and Ohio State University are among the partners to advance the university’s membrane technology to significantly reduce the energy penalty and cost of carbon capture technology in power production. The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to provide $13 million for the $16.25 million project.

💻 EVENTS:

  • The Carbon Capture Coalition will hold a webinar on Nov. 16 examining the role of carbon capture innovations in the power sector.

  • The Future of Mobility conference will take place virtually tomorrow (Nov. 13). A focal point is how to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in mobility tech development.

🗺️ JUUUST OUTSIDE THE MIDWEST:

  • University of Arkansas researchers developed a chip to generate and store energy by capturing graphene’s thermal motion and converting it to an electrical current, reports Talk Business & Politics. The chip could be an alternative to batteries and would provide clean, unlimited power for low-voltage devices such as sensors.

  • University of Kentucky researchers have launched a $2 million study of how to reduce sulfur levels in pine byproducts that are used to create biofuels. The sulfur is toxic to the catalyst, corrosive to biorefinery equipment, and causes pollution.


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Centered is a publication of the Energy News Network, in partnership with the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation and mHUB.