The Iowa Board of Regents yesterday approved the National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2). David Grewell, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team at Iowa State, will be the center’s director. Michael Kessler, professor and director of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University, will be site director at Washington State.
The new center, which will be housed in and supported by the Center for Crops Utilization Research in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will research the creation of biorenewable products that can eventually replace millions of tons of petroleum-based products. CB2 industry members currently number 23, including startups and large multinationals. They include 3M Co., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Boeing Co., Ford Motor Co., Newell Rubbermaid, Berry Plastics Corp. and Hyundai America Technical Center Inc.