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CBMI to Utilize Univ. of Illinois’ CornBoard™, a Mix of Corn Fiber & Polymer Matrix

Published on 2010-10-08. Author : SpecialChem

URBANA, IL -- Corn Board Manufacturing Inc. (CBMI), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) have entered into a license agreement under which CBMI will utilize a corn-based structural composite technology initially developed by Illinois' inventors, Dr. Nancy Sottos, Dr. Scott White and Dr. Thomas Mackin. CBMI's primary product is labeled CornBoard™.

CornBoard™ is a version of wood composite board that uses corn husks and stalks (commonly referred to as corn stover) remaining in the field after corn is harvested. The structural composite is prepared by mixing the fibrous corn component with a polymer matrix, laminating the mixture, and applying heat and pressure.

In contrast to traditional particle board, plywood, or medium-density fiberboard, CornBoard™ developed at CBMI will be repurposing an underutilized biomass material. For every acre of corn grown (over 86 million acres are grown annually in the U.S), over 4,000 pounds of corn stover is left in the field. Appropriating this biomass material into new and innovative products is an efficient and environmentally conscious means of stewardship.

CornBoard™ is a green technology in that it traps CO2. Typically, when biomass is left to decompose in the field, the CO2 previously captured and consumed by the growing plant is released back into the atmosphere. Conversely, when the corn stover is made into CornBoard™, the CO2 is "trapped" in the material. Sequestering CO2 in CornBoard™ alleviates the contribution of the decomposing biomass towards an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

CornBoard™ also provides an alternative to wood products, thereby reducing the demand on a less renewable resource. According to CBMI, just 2 acres of leftover corn stover biomass would produce enough CornBoard™ to build a two-story house supplying the roof decking, flooring, and outer wall sheathing. CBMI uses a non-toxic resin binder in CornBoard™ production. This method is a safer and more environmentally conscious choice than a traditional formaldehyde-base binder.

CBMI also announced the introduction of StalkIt Longboards. These top-of-the-line performance skate boards utilize CornBoard™ for the decks and are endorsed by professional skater Christian Hosoi and professional surfers Alana Blanchard and Bobby Martinez. In addition, a portion of the profits from the signature "Fallen Soldier Longboard" will be donated to the Snowball Express charity. The Snowball Express charity provides support for the families of United States military personnel lost in the line of duty.

About the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a research institution. The University's accomplishments include 22 Nobel Laureates among its faculty and alumni and such revolutionary innovations as the Web browser, new plant varieties, and self-healing polymer.

About Corn Board Manufacturing Inc.

The Corn Board Manufacturing Inc was founded in McKinney, Texas in 2009. CBMI has the technology to convert corn stover biomass into a green alternative to wood, helping to promote environmental consciousness and sustainability in rural America.

Source: Corn Board Manufacturing Inc.

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