Ag products and services company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), will provide $1.2 million, the Kansas Bioscience Authority will provide another $1.2 million, and the University of Kansas (KU) will provide in-kind support worth more than $300,000 for a bioscience project focusing on using plants as replacements for petroleum products when making certain chemicals, plastics, and fuels, reports the Kansas City Star.
Bioscience Authority leaders were intrigued by the proposal because of the technology it could produce, says Tom Thornton, president and CEO of the Bioscience Authority. The KU experts at the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis specialize in technology for the manufacture of chemicals that is more environmentally friendly than some traditional methods.
The new three-year project with ADM will include work to convert vegetable oils into lubricants or other chemicals, eliminate the need for a petrochemical in food packaging and use a form of plant material to make plastic. In addition to reducing the use of petroleum products, the project also could help develop new markets for agriculture, says Carey Novak, KU’s director of business and industry outreach, by using biomass materials that are currently considered waste products.
The plan is to refine the technology and then show how it can be produced in larger quantities, with a possible next step to include establishing a larger pilot plant, Novak says.
(Source: Kansas City Star)