In Iowa, the National Corn Growers Association has announced the winners of its second Consider Corn Challenge, an award handed out to technologies improving existing products in the marketplace with corn-based renewable materials. Each winner receives $50,000.
“Corn is a sustainable, abundant and affordable industrial feedstock that, as these companies have demonstrated, has myriad uses,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “The winners of the Consider Corn Challenge will help America’s corn farmers partner with industry to establish new uses of corn. This challenge continues to highlight the fact that U.S. corn is an extremely flexible feedstock for biobased products.”
The three winners are ExoPolymer, Inc. (San Carlos, California), Sumatra Biorenewables, LLC (Ames, Iowa), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service in Peoria, Illinois.
ExoPolymer is developing a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids to fill performance gaps in healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy industries. Sumatra Biorenewables develops and produces monomers that are incorporated into polyamides and polyesters to provide uniquely valuable properties, including tensile strength and low water absorption. USDA Agricultural Research Service: National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL plans to use emulsifiers, polymer films and coatings made from corn starch and vegetable oil rather than petroleum, which could open the door to new products with a smaller environmental footprint.