The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II this week at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa. Three winners were chosen, each with a unique technology to improve a product or process using field corn to produce biobased materials.
ExoPolymer, Inc. intends to create a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids that are domestically produced by microbial fermentation using corn sugar as a feedstock. These new hydrocolloids will meet the growing needs and performance gaps in the healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy industries.
Sumatra Biorenewables, LLC develops and produces novel monomers that are incorporated into polyamides and polyesters to provide uniquely valuable properties: notably tensile strength and low water absorption. These superior performance-advantaged materials have wide-ranging applications in the specialty nylon’s industry. Opportunities include improved hydrophobicity, anti-static, flame-retardant, or have tuned mechanical strength to meet customer specifications.
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.” The lab continued research on starch-based emulsifiers, positioning America’s corn farmers to grab a share of a global food emulsifiers market.
Each of the three winners received $50,000.