Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Corn, Soy Plastics To Be Made Into Hog Feeders

Date:
January 23, 2007
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
Richard Larock, a University Professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, is developing plastics made from corn and soybean oils that will be used to build hog feeders. The feeders could be on the market by the end of this year.

Richard Larock displays some of the plastics he has made from corn, soybean and other bio-based oils.
Credit: Image courtesy of Iowa State University

Richard Larock sorted through a pile of neatly labeled baggies filled with the plastics he makes from corn, soybean and other bio-based oils.

Larock, a University Professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, found the thin, square piece he was looking for and smacked it against his hand. This one is made from soybean oil reinforced with glass fibers, he said. And it's the kind of tough bioplastic he and his industrial collaborators will use to develop, test and manufacture new hog feeders.

Larock said his research project is about as Iowa as you can get. The state, after all, is the country's leading producer of corn, soybeans and pork.

The project is partially supported by a grant of $96,000 from the Grow Iowa Values Fund, a state economic development program. Larock is working with AgVantage Inc., a Rockford, Ill., company with manufacturing facilities in Iowa, and R3 Composites, a Muscatine manufacturer.

Larock has invented and patented a process for producing various bioplastics from inexpensive natural oils, which make up 40 percent to 80 percent of the plastics. Larock said the plastics have excellent thermal and mechanical properties and are very good at dampening noises and vibrations. They're also very good at returning to their original shapes when they're heated.

And so Larock is optimistic about the future of bioplastics in commercial applications: "This project should create new technology and jobs, expand opportunities for bio-based industries and agricultural suppliers, decrease our dependence on oil, strengthen the agricultural economy of Iowa, utilize ISU patented technology, provide new markets for farmers and marry new agricultural product development with sophisticated manufacturing skills and the knowledge to commercialize these projects," he wrote in a summary of the hog feeder project.

Ron Hagemann, a principal with AgVantage, said designs for a bioplastic hog feeder have been drawn up. The designs include radio frequency identification technology that can monitor and record the feeding habits of individual hogs. Molds for the high-tech feeders should be completed later this year and prototypes should be ready for testing in a hog building next spring. If all goes well, he said a product should be ready for commercialization by the end of next year.

Hagemann said the feeders' biggest advantage in the marketplace will be material costs. Corn and soybean oils are significantly cheaper than petrochemicals. And that's particularly true when oil prices are high.

Hagemann said he expects this project to be a very good test of Larock's plastics.

Hogs, after all, aren't known for being gentle with their feeders.

"I've told Richard that if we can do this, it's all downhill from here," Hagemann said.

But Larock isn't stopping with the feeder project. He's looking at adding other low-cost agricultural ingredients to his bioplastics. He's now studying whether distillers dried grains, a co-product of ethanol production that's sold as animal feed, can add strength to his bioplastics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Corn, Soy Plastics To Be Made Into Hog Feeders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070122122337.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2007, January 23). Corn, Soy Plastics To Be Made Into Hog Feeders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070122122337.htm
Iowa State University. "Corn, Soy Plastics To Be Made Into Hog Feeders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070122122337.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins