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Bioplastics

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) invests in research to develop new uses for corn. One promising area of new uses research aims to find new manufacturing processes that move towards the incorporation of new more “green chemicals”.

Iowa Corn has received four patents on its process for making monoethylene glycol (MEG), a drop-in replacement for current fossil fuel-based MEG in antifreeze, pop and water bottles, and polyester clothing. Over 60 billion pounds of MEG is used in the world every year with the yearly growth in the market equally nearly 100 million bushels of corn! 

Our technology to make MEG does not use fermentation. Instead we use metal catalysts to convert glucose (corn sugar) into MEG in one step in a continuous process with over 80% yield. These, along with other improvements, will save process steps and reduce cost of bio-based MEG compared to current bio-based processes. 

The key goals of ICPB’s bioplastic research include:

  • Expand the market for corn by licensing patented technology
  • Enter into new market opportunities
  • Develop renewable packaging materials
  • Replace petroleum derivatives with renewable products

 

 

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