The National Corn Growers Association invites proposals for new uses of field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.
The Consider Corn Challenge III is about finding game-changing new uses for field corn, leading to products with significant market demand (without detracting from an existing corn market).
U.S. corn represents a sustainably produced, economically competitive, and extremely flexible feedstock for bioproducts. U.S. corn farmers continue to adopt new innovative production practices, resulting in improved year-over-year efficiency and the ability to produce more with less. These advances now support production that greatly exceeds annual U.S. corn demand. In fact, production this year is forecasted to exceed demand by nearly 40 million metric tons.
Additionally, new technologies are being deployed that will provide clean product streams (sugar, lipid, proteins) as feedstocks for processes. At the same time, consumers worldwide continue to demand additional bio-based products. This confluence of available corn-based feedstocks and consumer demand represents an extremely exciting opportunity for stakeholders in the sustainable bio-materials industry.
Specific application areas will be considered for this Challenge:
- Biobased materials from novel mixes of corn-derived plastics
- Compostable plastics with high tensile strength, such as netting or packaging materials
- Heavy duty fuels or drop in chemicals (e.g., sustainable aviation fuel; biodiesel derived from corn glucose, bunker fuel, etc.)
- Carbon fiber
- Other high-value molecules
A total prize pool of US$150,000 will be split equally between 1 to 6 winners, based on the strength of competing submissions.
Additionally, NCGA, or its state or other partners, may explore funding or other support of an Entry for further development and/or commercialization, even if the Entry is not a prize winner.