Developing Another New Use for Corn
The Minnesota Corn Growers Association will be funding a $460,000 research project at the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Polymers with the goal to create the next generation of bioplastics. Currently almost all plastic uses petroleum as a feedstock. Plastic bottles and other plastic products made from petroleum last for hundreds of years in the land fill.
Minnesota Corn Growers research aims to use renewable sources like corn as a feedstock for plastic. Corn-based plastics, including polylactic acids are currently used today but do have some limiting physical properties. Supported by Minnesota Corn Growers the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Polymers is working on projects that add toughness, strength, better thermal stability and other characteristics that will expand other applications.
I have heard that anything that is made from petroleum can also be made from corn and soybeans. We just have to do the research to figure out how. Using corn for plastic could be a huge new market for corn!