October 31, 2003
Cargill Received Grant to Develop Industrial Chemicals from Soybeans and Other Oilseeds
As part of a Department of Energy (DOE) program to develop new technologies to make chemicals and fuels from sustainable raw materials, US' company Cargill has received a matching grant to develop a platform of new industrial chemicals from soybeans and other oilseeds. The company says this platform would act as a foundation for an oilseed biorefinery in the future. Cargill and the DOE will each invest $1.9 million over two years.
Cargill cooperates with Materia, Inc. and two other partners on the project. Materia's technology will be used to modify unsaturated oils, which includes soy and corn oil, to produce materials that would serve as platform chemicals for chemical and plastic products.
"A biorefinery shares many features with a petrochemical refinery, including a diverse platform for production of fuels and chemicals," said Jim Stoppert, who leads Cargill's industrial bioproducts development initiative. "The difference is the feedstock is renewable, which leaves a smaller environmental footprint and helps strengthen the agricultural economy.
"Cargill already operates biorefineries that ferment corn into industrial products, but the potential is even greater for developing a versatile platform of chemical building blocks from vegetable oils," Jim added.