Student Research Efforts Recognized at Corn Utilization and Technology Conference

(Posted Thu. Jun 7th, 2018)

Keywords: new uses

A graduate student from Iowa State University took home the top prize in the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference 2018 Poster contest held in St. Louis, Mo. this week. Joseph P. Polin, from Iowa State University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, received top honors in the Gary Lamie Student Poster Competition, sponsored by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council for his work on improving the process economics of making bio-renewable fuels and chemicals from corn stover.   “Encouraging young researchers to consider a career in agriculture is a major focus for the National Corn Growers and their State Partners. Those recognized in the poster contest show our efforts are paying off and they provide another reason for optimism,” said Dennis Maple, chair of CUTC and the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team. “I think all of the conference attendees were very impressed with the quality of research and...

Science Community Recognizing the Need to Enter a National Public Relations Dialogue

(Posted Wed. Jun 6th, 2018)

Keywords: new uses

When a group of scientists, academics, and processing engineers get together for a technical conference to discuss the latest in corn uses and corn processing you don’t expect a big discussion on communications and public relations to break out.  But that’s exactly what happened during the opening session of the 2018 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in St. Louis.   It seems the growing communication challenge between the public and farmers is also being felt in the scientific and technical communities.  Those attending CUTC’s general session concurred that there is a compelling need to develop techniques and messages that help bridge between how consumers “feel” and what they need to “know.”   Since 1987, CUTC has brought together leading innovators in the corn industry. The biennial conference provides a venue that allows scientific exchange and engaging discussions for researchers, farmers and other industry leaders.   “CUTC provides a great opportunity for...

Consider Corn Challenge Shines a Light on Corn’s Growing Potential in Bio-Economy

(Posted Wed. Feb 28th, 2018)

Keywords: Research New Uses

Six new technologies, that are poised to change the way the public perceives our country’s most abundant crop, were highlighted today in Anaheim, Calif. as winners of the inaugural Consider Corn Challenge, an open innovation contest hosted by the National Corn Growers Association. The diverse range of science unveiled shows that corn is squarely situated on the cutting-edge of technology, ready to support a wave of growth sweeping through the renewable products industry.   More than thirty, scientists and start-up companies answered the global call to bring forth their best ideas focused on the conversion of corn into bio-renewable chemicals. Contest entries reinforced that corn can improve the environmental footprint of many products used by consumers, including plastic bottles, acrylics, solvents, fibers, packaging, and coolants.  Many of the submissions included bio-advantaged molecules, with the ability to deliver performance and value that exceeds petrochemicals.   The six...

Corn-based Compound Used for Ice and Snow Control on Roadways

(Posted Thu. Nov 16th, 2017)

Keywords: New Uses

Road crews around the country are preparing for winter weather by running preparedness drills and stocking up on road treatment products. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) added a new product to their lineup for dealing with ice and snow on the roadways, one that includes a corn-based compound.   “We added another road treatment option to our winter operations,” says MODOT St. Louis Maintenance Engineer, Mark Croarkin. “The corn-based portion of the product is a carrier for Magnesium Chloride.  There are similar products that result in an approximately 2% Magnesium Chloride treated salt that use other base materials.  These products typically cost a little more to mix, but they can be more effective.”   Croarkin says the corn-based product MODOT started using goes by IceBan® M20 or IceBan® 300.  “If I was trying to quantify I would estimate the IceBan® treated material is about 25% more effective overall,” says Croarkin. “The benefits we have seen depend on the...

(Posted Wed. Oct 4th, 2017)

Keywords: New Uses

The National Corn Growers Association’s innovative search for new corn uses, called the Consider Corn Challenge, wrapped up last week, and reports just in show the effort to be a complete success. Initial results show that the group’s first-ever Open Innovation Contest attracted strong interest from the United States and six other countries.   Entrants shared their lab bench-vetted ideas on new ways to convert corn or corn-based products into sustainable chemicals.    “With the productive capacity of the nation’s corn growers continuing to grow, we need to be working hard to find new uses for corn so it can continue to be a positive national resource that makes major contributions to the economy,” said Larry Hoffmann, chair of NCGA’s Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team. “A whopping 35 entries were submitted, surpassing the original success metric set by NCGA, which was 20 entries. We are very happy with the result.”   The contest now moves into the judging phase, and up...