Iowa Corn Looks to Increase Corn Use in Plastics

Carrie Muehling

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board is one step closer to expanding the corn market after receiving a new patent application on a proprietary production method using corn in the industrial manufacturing of monoethylene glycol (MEG). Most MEG is produced from fossil fuels, with the exception of some bio-MEG made from sugarcane ethanol and sourced from Brazil. Consumers are driving a change towards a more environmentally friendly product, especially when it comes to bottled water and soft drinks, where MEG is widely used.

“There’s already about a four percent growth annually in that market,” said Pete Brecht, a farmer from Central City who chairs Iowa Corn’s Research and Development Committee. “If we could just capture that four percent increase in the market every year, we could be looking at grinding another 96 million bushels of corn annually, and that will help the farmer and reduce these stockpiles that we have.”

Iowa Corn uses checkoff dollars to fund this and other research to find new uses for corn and to expand current markets for the product.

Learn more in this phone interview with Pete Brecht and Dr. Alex Buck: Interview with Pete Brecht and Dr. Alex Buck, Iowa Corn

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