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Cargill Dow Awarded Grant For Bio-based Chemicals R And D

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded more than $2 million to Cargill Dow, Minnetonka, Minn., for continued research and development of the companys fermentation process for utilizing annually renewable resources.The DOE administers two financial assistance programs in support of President Bill Clintons executive order to triple U.S. use of biobased products and bioenergy by 2010. Cargill Dow will share equally with the DOE the $4.6 million budget for the projects.The projects center on developing process technology for the fermentation of corn fiber and corn stover to lactic acid and a number of other products. The results will help support the continued advancement of Cargill Dows NatureWorks PLA, which is derived entirely from annually renewable resources, as well as help develop other biobased products. Ultimately, Cargill Dows fermentation-based manufacturing technology will be able to be used anywhere in the world, using native agricultural by-products.NatureWorks PLA has applications in both fibers and packaging markets (See K/A News, ATI, this issue). In packaging, potential end-uses include high-value films, rigid thermoformed food and beverage containers, and coated papers and boards. New, emerging applications such as injection-, stretch- and blow-molded bottles are also being explored.

November 2000