Research Category: Corn Utilization

Value-Added Materials from Corn Stover

University of Minnesota/Marc Hillmyer

Our overall goal in this project is the utilization of abundant and readily available organic chemicals derived from corn stover for the preparation of new polymeric materials through the discovery of novel chemical transformations. Polymerization of reactive monomers to produce materials having versatile properties and applications is the backbone of the polymer and plastics industry. The discovery of unique polymerizable monomers and of new methods for polymerization using corn-derived chemicals will lead to novel materials having unique and useful properties.

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Food Grade DDG for Human Consumption– Value Enhancement of a Corn Co-Product

South Dakota State University/Padmanaban Krishnan

The purpose of this study is commercial development of Food Grade Distillers Grains. New food grade ethanol plants have come on-line in recent years and are a significant development since there is now an even greater need for new markets and new applications for a co-product of ethanol production. The goal of the research is to use part of the stream in ethanol plants for the production of wholesome dried distillers grains (DDG) that meet the specifications of a food ingredient.

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Converting Condensed Distillers EMISSIONS Solubles (CDS) to Slow Release Fertilizers and Adsorbents for Phosphorous

University of Minnesota/Kenneth Valentas

It has been reported that a magnesium oxide-biochar nanocomposite will adsorb phosphorous and nitrates from aqueous medium. This has significant implications for reducing phosphate and nitrate runoff from agricultural operations and also for functioning as a slow release fertilizer for controlled phosphorous application. These nanocomposite were made by dry pyrolysis from biomass such as sugar beet tailings, tomato leaves and the like.

Utilizing biomass such as beet tailings or tomato leaves is problematic since energy must be provided to dry the biomass for dry pyrolysis to form the biochar,

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Enhancing the Feeding Value of Corn Residues to Improve Beef Cattle Production

University of Minnesota & University of Illinois/Allen Bridges, Ryan Cox and Tara Felix

The focus of this research is to determine the most cost-effective approach for enhancing feed value of poor quality roughages (corn residue); development of alternative grazing approaches for backgrounding; evaluating cattle performance on alternative feeds during the backgrounding period; and residual effects of roughage inclusion and source in backgrounding diets on feedlot performance and carcass quality.

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Financial and Beef Quality Implications of Corn Crop Harvest Options for Cattle Feeders

University of Minnesota/Alfredo DiCostanzo

This project will aid in evaluating shredlage (wholeplant shredded silage), earlage, high-moisture corn and rolled corn as options for most return per acre of corn planted when fed to cattle. By determining the corn crop harvest that maximizes beef yield per acre, additional corn acres would become available on cattle feeding operations when corn grain prices increase to meet demand for corn grain. Finding corn crop harvest options that sustain the beef industry financially will permit a continued thriving market for corn.

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Mitigating HCL Emissions from the Gasification of Corn Cobs Using Low Cost Fuel Additives: A Pilot Study

University of Minnesota, Morris/James Barbour

The objective of this project is to test the efficacy of three potential hydrochloric acid (HCL) mitigation agents (lime, kaolin and dolomite) at laboratory scale as a pilot project to guide the design of a fullscale test. The Minnesota Legislature has enacted a major Energy Future Bill that requires the study of biomass fuels, especially agricultural biomass, to displace a large amount of fossil fuels. Mitigation of HCL from corn cobs during gasification/combustion will increase the viability of corn cobs as a fuel and increase the potential marketability of this valuable corn residue.

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Corn Protein Plastics for Agricultural Products

Iowa State University/David Grewell

This project will identify certain chemical and physical treatments from corn proteins that will be selected according to various attributes including mechanical strength, temperature stability and processability that will produce a zein-polylactic acid (zein-PLA) product that can replace petroleum-based plastics and will be friendly to the environment.

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Development of Biobased Class B Fire Retardant

Agricultural Utilization Research Institute/Liana Palaikis

This project will develop and scale-up for manufacture agricultural component-based, next generation Class B and/or Class A/B firefighting concentrate compatible with on-truck liquid delivery systems. Class B fires involve flammable liquids, gases, solvents, oil, gasoline, paint, lacquers, tars and other synthetic or oil-based products. There is a need for improved Class B products that are safer for the environment and exhibit improved stability when applied to a fire for greater product efficacy

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