About Plant Polymer Research (PPL)
PPL’s mission is to develop new, cost and performance competitive bio-based products from agricultural commodities and to provide a fundamental understanding of how processing variables affect properties of renewable materials by using chemical, physical, biological, and molecular modeling techniques.
The core strengths of PPL lie within its unique combination of its members and its valuable assets, such as instrumentation and physical resources. Our chemists, physical scientists, and technicians conduct research on starch-based and protein-based materials. Some of the valuable assets PPL uses to conduct research are the jet-cooking and the extrusion laboratories. The jet-cooking laboratory is devoted to basic and applied research and is, perhaps, the only one of its kind within the United States. To date, almost 40 articles have been published on using this technology in food and non-food use. Likewise, the extrusion laboratory is a rarity and has garnered much national and international recognition and interest. This lab is one of the few places in the world where reactive extrusion has been coupled with injection molding to produce modified polymers. PPL has a long history of working with industrial partners towards common goals and has demonstrated abilities to establish collaborations outside of NCAUR and to obtain outside funding.
The impact of PPL is recognizable in specific applications for bio-products, including water-resistant starch-based foams, starch- and protein-based biodegradable films, solvent protein durable fibers, biodegradable composites for plastic applications, adhesives, and absorbent materials.
- Congratulations to PPL scientist Dr. Atanu Biswas! He is a recipient of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Fellowship Award in 2020 and 2021 and was interviewed for “Under the Microscope” feature article.
- The research of Dr. Atanu Biswas was recently highlighted in an article by IFT – Food Technology Magazine.
- Public-Private Partnership is a Win-Win
- Dr. Mila Hojilla-Evangelista was awarded the 2018 Iowa State University Food Science and Human Nutrition Alumni Impact Award and the 2018 American Oil Chemists’ Society Archer Daniels Midland Award for Best Paper in Protein and Co-products, Engineering/Technology
- Better Paper, Plastics With Starch
- Peoria Ag Lab scientist working on project with researchers in Brazil
- Transparent Coating for Glass, Plastics—and More—May Have Bright Future
- Cutting the Fat—and Calories—in a Childhood Favorite
- Corn: The Latest Glue Ingredient?
- Beets: A Biodegradable Bonus for Earth-Friendly Plastics?
- Zein—A Corn Compound With Diverse Valuable Uses
- Electroactive Bioplastics Flex Their Industrial Muscle