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Directory:MPK Co's Litroenergy

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GlowPaint glow-in-the-dark paint company, MPK Co., has come up with self-luminous micro particles called Litrospheres™ which they say are inexpensive, non-toxic, and will stay on for 20+ years (12 year half-life) continuously -- without having to be plugged into any power source. A year later they announced that by combining this with thin-film solar sheets they can generate electricity continuously for the same duration.

Winning the Grand Prize in NASA's 2007 "Create The Future" contest, this fluorescing microsphere approach is a [[Directory:Betavoltaics|betavoltaic] technology, using a radioactive gas, whose "soft" emission of electrons from the beta emitting gas cannot penetrate the glass or polymer wall of the microspheres. MPK is having the Litroenergy Power Cells tested for classification as non-toxic and non-radioactive.

The Litrospheres™ are not affected by heat or cold, and are 5,000-pound crush resistant. They can be injection molded or added to paint. The fill rate of Litroenergy micro particles in plastic injection molding material or paint is about 20%. The constant light gives off no U.V. rays, and can be designed to emit almost any color of light desired.

: "This has potential to save billions in energy costs world-wide. Litroenergy™ surpasses all known available lighting options for cost/durability/reliability and safety." -- Steve Stark, MPK Co.

Now, as of Oct. 17 2008, the company has applied once again to the NASA "Create the Future". This time they are announcing their intention to combine their Litrospheres with thin-film solar sheets to create a constant energy generator. Already, after just a few days, their submission has jumped to first place in popularity.

: "The many novel, versatile and far reaching applications/benefits for low cost on-going durable, solid state power generation without using any additional resources and being extremely environmentally friendly has ground breaking implications for our energy consuming world." -- Michael Kohnen, Inventor (Oct. 17, 2008)

The company seeks to mass produce this mateiral and supply OEMs. The generator product could be available as soon as January, 2009.


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Official Websites

Image:Bike MPK glowpaint crop 300.jpg "We are the technological leader for glow-in-the-dark material and offer advanced materials for all your needs! We offer retail products, custom orders to wholesale materials for OEM's. Our products are LEAD FREE and Non-Radioactive!"

Research and Development Litroenergy - "We have the most amazing light source discovery. Please check back for more details on our new material." - Submitted by Steve Stark to NASA tech Briefs. This was their first public exposure of the technology. - Submitted by Kohnen to NASA tech Briefs, announcing the combination of the litroenergy with thin-film solar cells.


Image:FreeEnergyNowRadioIcon95x95 byKevn.gif

Download (13mb mp3) - On Jan. 7, 2008 Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan conducted an interview the inventor, Mike P. Kohnen II, and with Steve Stark, both of MPK Co, as part of the Free Energy Now radio series. This was the first interview that Mr, Kohnen has done about this new technology, thanks to the attention and interest that has come their way as a result of this (page) PES Network coverage.

Latest Developments

March 14, 2011

Create the Future Design Contest Winners: Where Are They Now?

Litroenergy™, a New Light Source Material

Steve Stark, Michael P. Kohnen II, and Michael P. Kohnen created an innovative material that lit up the 2007 Create the Future contest, taking home the Grand Prize. Their Litroenergy™ material contains self-luminous microparticles that emit light continuously for more than 12 years without recharging.

According to Stark, winning the Create the Future Grand Prize provided connections with Fortune 500 companies. “That would’ve taken years to build. Within a short period of time, the majority of Fortune 500 companies were knocking on our doors, and that was priceless,” he said.

The $20,000 prize money was used to create samples for evaluations for the Department of Defense, and for investors to actually see the product work and test it. Said Stark, “Everyone could see applications for use within their industries, and it was surprising to see a broad range of industries that it would work with -— from using it within computers, to using it within automobiles, to using it in deep-sea applications.”

Today, there is a shift in Litroenergy, from light to power. “We were looking at the cost-effectiveness of the light source being mass-produced. That is a goal that we think we can eventually achieve, but in order to get to that point, we have to look at the most profitable applications first,” explained Stark. “And that turned out to be in power generation — an electrical long-term-life battery, which is not affected by heat or cold, and could last 20 years. [Litroenergy light] does create a lot of electricity, but we had difficulties with its ability to generate enough electricity. We are looking at photocell market advancements to hopefully bring us to a point where we can start production,” he said. “There has been a lot of work with bioluminescence, which is very similar to our light output. We’re working with metamaterials to bend the light for the right frequencies and obtain the highest output. We’re still a little bit away from making that work effectively enough.”

Stark added that the demands for this type of product are massive. “This is really what the world is looking for — the long-life battery that doesn’t cost much and lasts for 20 years to power the electric car and to use in everyday life, from computers to iPods. We’re in the right field at the right time. We’re just looking at a short life to achieve the right solar cell, the thin-film solar cell, to turn our light into electricity.”

For more information on Litroenergy products, visit

November 3, 2009

MPK CO. of Wisconsin chosen

Midwest Cleantech 2009 - Innovation Competition, an international event, selected MPK CO. of Clayton, WI for their incredible 20+ year versatile LitroEnergy light source material (uses no outside resources) and 12+ year LitroEnergy Electrical Power Cells (no-charge long life batteries), to present to an international audience at the new technologies showcase of 12 developer finalists from the midwest, California and Europe. Companies were chosen which could offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges.

The second annual Midwest Global Cleantech conference will be held in Chicago Nov. 23-24, 2009 at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. This conference is all about the intersection of emerging innovative companies, global business opportunity and clean tech-focused investors.

Conference attendees will include entrepreneurs, angel, venture capital and corporate strategic investors, representatives of international firms and trade commissioners, corporate R & D managers, business development executives, university researchers, officials engaged in technology transfer and more.

MPK Co. received NASA Techbriefs & SolidWorks Corporation Grand Prize for its LitroEnergy new light source material. Inventor Michael P. Kohnen II, MPK Co. President & CEO, states Steve Stark, Business Development and Marketing, plans to have samples available at the conference. Our LitroEnergy Power Cells have potential to be the viable long life battery solution for electric vehicles and primary and secondary battery markets (low cost no-charge batteries).

June 17, 2009

Minnesota Cup Clean & Green semi-finalist in the 2009 Minnesota Cup business plan competition.

Becoming a semi-finalist is no trivial matter as more than 1,000 entrants participated in this years competition and MPK CO.'s plan was deemed to be one of the ten best in our division.

April 30, 2009

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest MPK CO. was listed as one of 21 finalists for our business plan featuring LitroEnergy and LitroEnergy Power Cells.

Oct. 17, 2008

Ligroenergy submits a new entry to NASA's "Create the Future" contest.

Image:MPKLitroenergyPowercell95x95 byKevn.jpg

LitroEnergy Power Cells Produce Continuous Output - By combining a non-stop luminescing technology that has a 20-year duration (12-year halflife), with thin film photovoltaics in a layered arrangement, MPK Co. has devised a portable, continuous generator that could change the planet. (PESN Oct. 22, 2008)

Jan. 31,2008

NASA announces that Litroenergy has won the Grand Prize in NASA's 2007 "Create the Future" contest.

Oct. 5, 2007

Litroenergy first announced the technology at NASA's TEch Briefs: LitroEnergy - New Light Source Material, which later won the contest.

How it Works

Mostly proprietary.

The Litroenergy technology is based on a combination of an advanced phosphorus and tritium, hence the 12-year half-life. Tritium is the most harmless of the various radioactive elements, and is ubiquitous in nature, in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Tritium is quite benign. Only in recent years has it no longer been considered perfectly safe. The MPK packaging of tritium into microspheres that have a 5,000-pound crush resistance, makes this technology safe. In the case of release into the air, it essentially is released as hydrogen. The "soft" radioactive emissions from the tritium do not penetrate through the walls of the microsphere encapsulation.


The cost to light up 8½ x 11 piece of plastic 1/8?? thick with Litrospheres is about 35 cents.


Image:MPK glow paint cans 250.jpg

"The uses are unlimited as the imagination however we predict the safety aspects to be the front runner in application (light safety tape, lighted life rafts/flotation equipment, light safety markings/equipment, etc.). Supplemental light source will be second as the material is bright and one can read by it, if you have some Litroenergy lighting you will not need to always turn on a light source that requires electricity. The use of Litroenergy in toys, sports/camping equipment, bikes and novelty uses will be close in applications."

The continuous generator technology will have a very large number of applications -- everything from micro applications (e.g. medical implants) to power stations.


Litroenergy is a patent pending designed light source material. It was filed simultaneously in the U.S. and PCT.

Referenced Patent

US Patent 4,677,008 Safe and efficient self-luminous microspheres June 30, 1987 Robert D. Webb

Note: This patent, which has expired, is referenced in the MPK patent application.

Abstract : This invention relates to a means for more efficiently and more safely providing self-luminous lighting devices for use in signs, markers, indicators and the like. Said invention provides self luminosity by means of a plurality of glass microspheres containing both a light emitting phosphor and a radioactive gas. The "soft" emission of electrons from the beta emitting gas can not penetrate the glass wall of the microspheres, thereby constituting no radiation hazard. The containment of the self-luminous system within an envelope which does not pass any radiation prevents the deterioration of nearby organic materials. A further advantage of said invention is that the plurality of individual containment envelopes minimize the escape of radioactive gas in the event of any physical damage to an assembly of such envelopes. A still further advantage of my invention is that the radioactive gas completely surrounds the phosphor particles, thus causing light emission from 100 percent of the surface of said particles.

Robert D. Webb News Coverage

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Inventor: Mike P. Kohnen II

Mike P. Kohnen II was a top engineer with a plastics firm. As an avid fisherman, he wanted a way to see his pole moving in the dark so he could see when a fish was biting at night. His first innovation with glow-in-the-dark material was to come up with a way to greatly enhance the material, which prior had only a fluoresce of 15 to 20 minutes after an exposure to light. He was able to improve the fluoresce for up to three days after only a 15 minute exposure to light. He then focused on developing colors, various powders, pigments, pellets and specializing in creating formulations for OEM's for their varied applications and requirements. The glow paints and materials he creates are all lead free and non-radioactive.

Mike has recently created products for retailers and consumers and these can be seen on his site. Some of these products include his advance glow-in-the-dark materials in easy to use paint tubes and spray cans.

This was the foundation of his technologically advanced GlowPaint - MPK. CO. business.

Representative: Steve Stark

Steve Stark is a designer, inventor, marketing specialist who specializes in sports/toy inventing and product development.

November 24th, 2011 TrendHunter Article involved with the launch of the Twilight SUPERNOVA lighted golf ball with AFTERGLOW technology.

The Twilight SUPERNOVA allows you to Start Earlier, See The Ball and Finish Your Round! Great new golf products that lights up for 8 minute cycle times and continues to glow.

"I have created a line of Wham-O Frisbee® disc's and one has just been launched in stores in 2008 (Wham-O's 60th Anniversary).

The high performance waterproof foam disc "Wham-O EZ SPIN Foam Frisbee® Disc" can be purchased at Target stores, or found at other major retailers near you. This is a soft foam disc for easy catching, easy to grip and throw while offering a blue plastic center so anyone can easily spin the disc on a finger! You can even turn the disc upside down and easily spin the disc on your finger like a pro!

Here is an article that best describes the disc:

The EZ Spin is a revolutionary Foam Frisbee® Disc being referred to online as the best recreational disc available today. After flying one of these multi-feature toys, it is “EZ" to see why.

Wham-O, who originally created the Frisbee® disc, went back to the drawing board and created the perfect mix of fun and sport with this new disc product. The EZ Spin disc is a high performance disc made from amazing waterproof foam material that can be used at the beach/pool or in a disc sport (Ultimate, Disc Golf, Freestyle) including Disc Tag! Who would have thought you can play Disc Tag? FYI, it’s not easy to out-run this foam disc! Players will appreciate the foam material and high performance flight.

The EZ Spin, which comes in yellow or red, is EZ to catch, grip and throw all day with the kids and is very EZ on the hands! The waterproof soft foam (advanced closed cell material) makes this disc absolutely perfect for the beach/pool. The special blue dual spin plastic center feature of the EZ Spin disc is for comfortable finger placement on the disc that allows everyone the EZ way to spin the disc right side or upside down on a finger (almost addictive) - just like a Freestyle pro!

In the high speed game of Ultimate the EZ Spin became the preferred disc for our game as a player is not afraid to launch the disc at high speeds to a team mate because it is a foam disc! The Disc Golf “inside word" is the EZ Spin is a secret weapon for anyone’s Disc Golf bag as I found when this disc hits the hole (the chains) it immediately drops into the basket.

Disc beginners to sports enthusiasts will all agree that the EZ Spin disc is a revolutionary disc and certainly the best recreational disc available today!

The weight is approx. 150 Grams (perfect freestyle weight).

Image:EZ spin disc.jpg
Image:EZ spin Card1.jpg

More at


In the News

Six technologies that could change the Earth -

Image:Create-the-Future 2011 95x95.jpg
Latest: Directory:Prizes > Directory:Awards > Create the Future and Win Twenty Grand! - The 2011 Create the Future contest by NASA Tech Briefs magazine is now accepting entries. By submitting your innovative technology you could attract attention to your idea and win twenty thousand dollars! Previous winners have include the Directory:Massive Yet Tiny (MYT) Engine and Directory:MPK Co's Litroenergy. (PES and BeforeItsNews April 25, 2011)

Chicago, November: Midwest Clean Tech 2009 conference this week showcased a tidal wave of green ideas. Here are six expo show stoppers.

Photovoltaics that work in the dark – Solar power has one major drawback. It turns off once the sun disappears. Most researchers are searching for ways to store it for future use, technologies often involving batteries. But Michael Kohnen II and Steve Stark of MPK CO. took a completely different approach. They developed tiny micro particles of gas and crystals that can power photovoltaic cells 24/7, sidestepping the storage problem entirely. (Red Is Green - Word Nov. 25, 2009)

Business North -

MPK CO. of Wisconsin is finalist in international competition (Business North Nov. 17, 2009)

Google News > Litroenergy

Image:MPKLitroenergyPowercell95x95 byKevn.jpg

LitroEnergy Power Cells Produce Continuous Output - By combining a non-stop luminescing technology that has a 20-year duration (12-year halflife), with thin film photovoltaics in a layered arrangement, MPK Co. has devised a portable, continuous generator that could change the planet. (PESN Oct. 22, 2008)

Battery Killers - Litroenergy Power Cells - An award-winning new light source material called Litroenergy was just announced that can generate electricity 24/7 for 20+ years. (TrendHunter Oct. 21, 2008)

Image:Litroenergy powercell 95x95.jpg

Create the Future Design Contest 2008 Litroenergy Power Cells - Directory:MPK Co's Litroenergy generate electricity reliably and constantly 24/7 over 20+ years (12 years half-life) without any waste byproduct or any other energy input. Utilizing Litroenergy in combination with solar cells creates a light weight solid-state long term low cost new electrical power source. (Create the Future Contest Oct. 17, 2008)

Flexible Light Source For 24/7 Lighting (EcoFriend Dec. 10, 2007)

Litroenergy - New Light Source Material (emits light for 12 years without electricity) (FreeRepublic Dec. 10, 2007)

New Light Glows For 12 Years (TreeHugger 12.10.07)

Continuous Light Doesn't Need to be Plugged In — GlowPaint glow-in-the-dark paint company, MPK Co., has come up with self-luminous micro particles called Litrospheres(TM) which they say are inexpensive, non-toxic, and will stay on for 12+ years (half-life point) continuously — without having to be plugged into any power source. (Digg Dec. 9, 2007)

Rocketboom - Horses and Spaceships - (ROCKETBOOM VIDEO Dec. 13, 2007)

Litroenergy - New Light Source Material that lasts for 12 years - (Megavolt Dec. 22, 2007)

New product 'lights up' their lives (Champlin-Dayton Press March 5, 2008)

Other Coverage

Google > Litroenergy - 15 entries as of Dec. 8, 2007 258 entries as of Dec. 15, 2007. 9,850 entries as of Dec. 19, 2007.

Yahoo > Litroenergy - 57,500 entries as of August 28, 2008


See Talk:Directory:MPK Co's Litroenergy

Probably Tritium Not New Not Dangerous Not T100

On Dec. 10, 2007, New Energy Congress member, Congress:Member:Richard George, Ph.D. wrote:

My best guess is that they are using tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that reacts with the human body in the same manner as natural hydrogen. Beta rays from the tritium hit phosphors to create the glow you see. Tritium has a half-life of 12.5 years, which means that in that time the lamp will be half as bright as it originally was. Trijicon uses tritium in their ACOG rifle scopes in common use in Iraq and Afghanistan by the special forces (government issued) and thousands of individual soldiers who purchased their own scopes. Tritium is also used in some watches.

Beta particle radiation can cause skin burns and are most harmful when they enter the body (becoming small radioactive cancer causing bombs). They can be blocked by thin sheets of metal or plastic. Small amounts of tritium (e.g. one ACOG scope or one watch) have minimal radiation. You would have to have ~10,000 ACOG scopes or ~2,500 tritium watches break in one room to have any significant radiation or risk. I don't know about these paints but I suspect it would be hard for the tritium beta particles to escape the paint such that they could do harm.

The intensity is not very strong. This is good enough for night illumination of rifle scopes, watches, and emergency signs but it is not going to come anywhere close to matching the light output of or replace electric light bulbs (incandescent, flourescent, LED, etc.) or kerosene lanterns.

Tritium illumination has been around for at least 25 years.

This is not a top 100 technology.

Revolutionary but Not Substantial

On Dec. 9, 2007, NEC member, Congress:Advisor:Kenneth M. Rauen wrote:

This technology, though very revolutionary, does not

emit enough light to take the place of any substantial

lighting source. The amount of electricity avoided is


Opens New Lighting Vistas

On Dec. 11, 2007, NEC member, Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan wrote:

While this energy source will not go very far in replacing existing lighting, what it does do is open new avenues not previously plausible -- light anywhere, continuously, inexpensively, without an electrical source required. It is a huge step forward in improving quality of life. Darkened alleyways, streets, rooms, hallways can be lit.

Even if the amount of light is not huge in otherwise total darkness, a little bit of light goes a long way. The safety and fun ramifications are huge.

And because of the ease of manufacturing and implementation, the number of applications will be vast, so that there will indeed be a significant savings in existing energy costs. For that reason, I think it does belong in our Top 100. This is one of the coolest things to come along.

Related Technologies

Image:Lunabrite 95x95.jpg

The completely unpowered night light - Lunabrite glowing strip lights recharge fully in the sunlight and glow for between 3 and 12 hours after dark without ever needing batteries or electricity. It's completely child and pet-safe, non-toxic, weather- and UV-resistant and anti-microbial. (GizMag Jun. 21, 2007)


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602 West Clayton Avenue

Clayton, WI 54004-9101 USA

Phone: 715-948-2100

Marketing Executive, Steve Stark can be reached via email: []

See also




- Directory







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