Two university researchers are looking at dried distillers grains as a possible component in plastics, according to Science Daily. "A co-product of ethanol production could be used as a non-petroleum-based filler in plastics, based on preliminary studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their cooperators," the researchers noted.
The ethanol co-product, called distiller’s dried grains with solubles, has a high fiber content and a molecular structure suitable for binding — two attributes that make it a candidate as a filler in plastics, according to ARS agricultural engineer Kurt Rosentrater. Rosentrater is based at the ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, SD. He conducted the research with Robert A. Tatara, a professor at the Northern Illinois University Department of Technology, part of NIU’S College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.