K-State’s Technology Development Institute assists NORDEF

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) – Kansas State University’s Technology Development Institute provided design and production assistance to technology-based company, NORDEF.

Kansas State University said NORDEF partnered with the university to create a prototype device to produce diesel exhaust fluid and continue to expand the company’s business.

Kansas State University said NORDEF seeks to reduce nitrogen oxide, or NOx, emissions and single-use plastic bottles by producing diesel exhaust fluid on demand as needed in an effort to reduce transportation costs, reduce waste and produce a more cost-effective product for their customers. Diesel exhaust fluid is a combination of ultra-pure water and urea, a nitrogenous compound. The diesel exhaust fluid is injected into the exhaust of a diesel engine to reduce NOx emissions.

The company, which is based in Leawood, was formed in 2019 and entered the Digital Sandbox program in 2020. NORDEF was able to obtain funding needed to file for patent protection of the concept. The company contacted the Technology Development Institute, or TDI, to assist in the craton of a computer-aided design model and fabrication of an initial prototype unit.

Funding provided by the Economic Development Administration will cover the design costs of the system utilized by the Technology Development Institute. The Institute and NORDEF worked together to make an application to the Kansas Department of Commerce proof-of-concept program. The program will cover the cost of producing the initial prototype.

Using a virtual model of the prototype system as envisioned by the entrepreneurs, engineers at the Technology Development Institute took a bill of materials from NORDEF. After iterations and adjustments that were unavailable due to the global supply chain shortage, the virtual model was completed and work began on device fabrication.

Founding partner of NORDEF William Walls shared a statement regarding the project.

“Working with TDI has been an excellent experience as they understand both the technology as well as the challenges we face as a small start-up company,” said Walls. “We would not have been able to continue to move our technology forward without both the technical and business support that TDI has provided to us.”

Kansas State University said the fabrication and testing, completed by the Technology Development Institute, took place in late 2022. NORDEF was selected from more than 70 to compete in the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge in Puerto Rico in January 2023. NORDEF won the contest and was awarded $50,000 to continue to grow and expand the company.

Kansas State University noted the Technology Development Institute is in K-State’s Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. It is a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center that provides a broad range of engineering and business development services to both private industry and university researchers to advance the commercial readiness of new products or technologies.


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