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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.


The Plant Polymer Research is located in Peoria, IL and is part of the Midwest Area.
The Acting Research Leader is Gordon Selling.
Phone: (309)681-6338
Fax: (309)681-6691
Peoria, IL 61604