Got corn? Then you can make some amazing things. For example, attendees at the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC16) that took place in St. Louis this week learned about making new momomers for corn? Say what? Let’s get some insight from biomaterial expert Michael Saltzberg who is the business director for DuPont Industrial Biosciences’ biomaterials business.
Saltzberg spoke on the Biorefining II panel where he discussed a new product they are developing in collaboration with ADM. They are working on a new momomer that uses fructose, from corn, as the raw material. It’s a process that uses chemical catalysis in a several step process that takes fructose to a momomer that’s called furan dicarboxylic acid methyl ester or FDME.
What’s exciting, said Saltzberg, is that this momomer can be used to make exiting new polymers especially in the packaging area. For example, helping soft drink and beer manufactures downgage their packaging but offer the same shelf life is important for them he said.
So what does this mean for the biorefinery industry? Saltzberg noted a major focus of the conference is to see what other applications can utilize some of the corn fractions. “This is a great way to take corn starch to fructose to a very valuable chemical out of it. So I think for the ag processing industry and for farmers it offers that kind of opportunity,” he said.
And for a company like DuPont, added Saltzberg, being able to develop new momomers through renewable raw materials and creating new polymers out of them enables them to assist their customers in solving some of their challenges.
To learn more about emerging momomers and their applications, listen to Chuck’s interview with Michael Saltzberg: Interview with Michael Saltzberg, DuPont
Check out pictures from the conference: 2016 CUTC Photo Album.