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NOTEBOOK: Corn growers push new bioplastic ingredient


Farmers and researchers at the Iowa Corn Promotion Board are trying to develop a bioplastic ingredient that could help push corn sales. 

The board holds U.S. patents on a proprietary production method using corn in the industrial manufacturing of a material used to make bioplastic. The process won the first Consider Corn Challenge, a global competition initiated by the National Corn Growers Association to identify new ways to use corn to make chemicals. 

“By improving the manufacturing processes for bio-based materials, this method will continue to expand the renewable products market,” Iowa Corn research and business development committee Chairman Pete Brecht said in a statement. The product, known as MEG, is used to make antifreeze, plastic bottles and polyester clothes. 

If the predicted 4 percent annual growth in MEG demand all came from corn, demand for the grain would jump by 94 million bushels a year, the board reported. Iowa is the nation’s top corn producer.

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