Rocking the boat: Indiana waste plastics processor plans to convert boat wrap to fuel

♼ RECYCLING: Waste solutions provider Brightmark has completed a boat shrink wrap collection pilot program near its Ashley, Indiana, plastics renewal facility, which is slated to come online later this year. It will move on to the next step of using the hard-to-recycle material to produce synthetic fuel, instead of the material going to landfill.

  • Boat wrap is a low-density polyethylene product used to protect boats in dry dock storage during the winter. An estimated 110,000 tons of waste boat wrap is produced each year.
  • Brightmark partnered with a nearby marine services dealer to collect the plastic during the pilot program. It is supported by the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District.
  • Brightmark will blend the recovered boat wrap with other plastic waste to be used as a feedstock for making transportation fuel and wax at the Indiana facility. The fuel will then go into the Midwest’s wholesale transportation fuel pool. The Indiana facility is expected to process 100,000 tons of mixed plastics per year once it begins operations.
  • Program expansion is planned for additional marinas in four Indiana counties and possibly to other states in the future.***SPONSORED LINK: The Cleanie Awards — the #1 awards program in clean technology — is now accepting applications! Submit to win, or contact us with any questions. Applications close July 30.***🔌 UTILITIES:
    • Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, in collaboration with EDM International and eSmart Systems, is using knowledge gathered from phase one of a technology-driven transmission line aerial inspection system into the newly launched phase two part of the program. It incorporates drones and an artificial intelligence-driven analytics solution to analyze Xcel Energy’s energy transmission assets.
    • Fuel Tech in Warrenville, Illinois, announced $2.2 million in new orders for its utility-scale technologies that reduce NOx emissions and assist primarily coal-fired power generation with burning more efficiently and cleanly.

    🍔 FOOD: Motif FoodWorks, an ingredients innovation company working on plant-based foods, is partnering with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on plant-based meat and dairy product research to improve food quality.

    🚚 INCUBATOR: Chicago-based cleantech startup Aeromutable is among the two dozen startups to be chosen for cohort seven of the Latinx Incubator from 1871 and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Aeromutable engineers solutions for making the trucking industry’s vehicles safer, more energy efficient, and lower emissions.

    💰 FUNDING:


    • Chicago investment research and management firm Morningstar completed its acquisition of Sustainalytics, a business that provides data and ratings on global companies’ environmental, social, and governance performance.
    • Unirac has completed its acquistion of Athens, Ohio-based solar racking manufacturer Ecolibrium Solaraccording to Solar Power World.
    • Irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology distributor Lindsay Corp. in Omaha, Nebraska, is acquiring Net Irrigate, a Bloomington, Indiana, Internet of Things agtech company that provides remote irrigation monitoring and control solutions.


    • Illinois entrepreneurs are invited to apply for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s seventh annual Metro East Start-Up Challenge, a $20,000 regional business plan competition that focuses on four industries: sustainable food, information technology, manufacturing and healthcare. The application deadline is August 9.
    • Kansas City, Missouri’s Pure Pitch Rally is accepting applications for its fifth annual event in October. Applications are due August 21.

    💻 CONFERENCE: The annual OnRamp Agriculture Conference, highlighting agricultural innovations and disruptions, will take place on Thursday, July 9. Registration for the virtual event is available online.

    Let me know about other businesses and organizations advancing tech in the Midwest. Send news tips, press releases, and feedback to or connect on LinkedIn and Twitter @centereddottech.

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