Biennial conference highlights opportunities for corn use

Corn starch is extremely important in current bio-chemical processing while waiting for better processes.
Corn starch is extremely important in current bio-chemical processing while waiting for better processes. | File photo

The importance of the variety of uses for corn was a major topic at the 10th biennial Corn Utilization and Technology Conference held during the first week of June. 

There are opportunities for farmers, biochemical engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and consumers, but the focus was on the shift from biofuels to bio-based chemicals.

“We need to grow a technical base for making renewables,” Ray Chrisman from Purdue University said. He reminded attendees that it takes five to 10 years for a new product to reach market place stability.

Research is being conducted to develop renewable chemicals, especially with glucose, but it has been a struggle to find the most effective processing technique when it comes to separating chemicals.

“Corn starch is the most ideal starting material for this project,” Chrisman said. “It is low-cost, clean, available in large volumes, easily converted to glucose and is an insurance policy against global crop failures.”

Corn starch is extremely important in current bio-chemical processing while waiting for better processes.

“We need to help the industry get to where it needs to be, please let the agencies like the Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture know this,” Brent Shanks, who works for SusTerea, a bio-renewable focus company, said at the end of his session.

Organizations in this story

National Corn Growers Association 632 Cepi Drive Chesterfield, MO - 63005

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