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Iowa State wins grant for new bioplastics center

By: PLASTICS NEWS REPORT

February 21, 2013

AMES, IOWA -- A new center that will research bioplastics and biocomposites is getting a boost from a planning grant from the National Science Foundation.

NSF is giving start-up funding to the Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team at Iowa State University. The proposed center will be collaboration between Iowa State and the UMass Lowell's department of plastics engineering.

"Iowa State is an established leader in the area of biobased products and UMass Lowell is a leader in the field of polymer processing," said David Grewell, chairman of the Iowa State team and an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, in a news release. "By bringing together our expertise, we will be able to successfully transfer our ideas, results and technology to the U.S. plastics industry."

The center, dubbed CB2, will conduct research that promotes industry-wide acceptance of biobased plastics and composites and increases the use of sustainable materials. Projects will look at all aspects in the development of biobased plastics including feedstock logistics; synthesis and compounding of materials; and economic and environmental analysis of new products.

NSF will provides management expertise and matching funds for the first five years with the potential for additional funding.

The initial grant will be used for a two-day planning workshop to be held at Iowa State later this year. Researchers from Iowa State and UMass Lowell and industry partners will discuss potential research projects as well as finalize the center's organizational structure and research thrust areas.

Companies interested in becoming a member of CB2 should contact Grewell at (515) 294-2036 or dgrewell@iastate.edu. For information on CB2, see www.biocom.iastate.edu/cb2.