The use of corn as an industrial feedstock was featured as the cover story of Industrial Biotechnology, a leading industry journal focused on biobased industrial and environmental products and processes. The paper, “Industrial Biotechnology: An Industry at an Inflection Point,” illustrates the technology evolution in the biobased manufacturing infrastructure and processes. It also highlights new technologies that will continue to advance progress in this space. Leaders from across the value chain collaborated on the paper.
“It’s important to continue to set the stage for future corn grind, tell corn’s story as the preferred industrial feedstock of choice, and show how we are a solution for products in the biorenewable space,” said NCGA’s Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “The paper also reviews consumer and industry demand factors, sustainability considerations, and policy suggestions to drive the industry forward.”
The paper was co-authored by Nathan Danielson—BioCognito; Paul Bloom—Archer Daniels Midland James R Randall Research Center; Jennifer Dunn—Northwestern University & Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering; Neal Jakel—Fluid Quip Technologies; Timothy Bauer—Fluid Quip Technologies; John Hannon—Vertimass; Michael Jewett—Northwestern University; Brent Shanks—Iowa State University; & Sarah McKay—NCGA.
"This paper shows that the combination of new technologies and corn's competitiveness as a sustainable feedstock indicates a very bright future for new uses,” said paper co-author Nathan Danielson.
“It was important to have so many experts come together to collaborate on this paper to show the strength of the industry,” McKay added. “We are at a pivotal point and now is the time to strike while the iron is hot and engage with and get in front of as many in the biorenewables industry as we can.”
The paper abstract says, “Industrial Biotech is poised for dramatic growth. A confluence of consumer demand, attractive feedstock quantity, quality, price, and technical innovation has created a perfect situation for the industry to significantly expand. Since the 2004 Werpy and Peterson paper, “Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass,” the biobased manufacturing industry and the technologies that make these processes and products possible has evolved significantly. New technology continues to advance and there is increasing consumer and industry demand for biobased materials. Paired with increasing on-farm efficiency and sustainability considerations, these are all factors that are driving the bioeconomy forward. This paper reviews these factors and illustrates where the technology can head, identifying opportunities for utilizing corn-based sugars as a feedstock for near-term, high-impact products in the biorenewable space. Furthermore, this paper suggests what policies should be considered to move the industry towards the future.”
You can view the paper that was published in Industrial Biotechnology here.