The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.
The grant was given to the university's Center for Sustainable Polymers by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
“There are bio-based plastics that are already in the market,” center director Marc Hillyer said in a new release from the Minneapolis-based university. “But our goal is to make them lower-cost and higher-performance to compete with plastics developed from non-renewable sources.
“Our research will accelerate these discoveries and, with help from industry partners, we expect to realize translation of our work to products in the market,” he added.
Some of the products in the center's pipeline will use plant-derived biomass. The center already has developed a sugar-based block copolymer resin.
The award is part of NSF's Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation program. The university's center already had received $1.5 million in NSF funding under Phase I of that program.
The center opened in 2009 and now has 32 industrial partners. Researchers from Cornell University and the University of California-Berkeley also are working with the center.