The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making an investment of $9.5 million to support the scale-up of sustainable bioproduct manufacturing in the United States.
Three successful projects are funded through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Bioproduct Pilot Program, which funds research and development of value-added products from agricultural commodities.
The three awardees are:
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, for a project that proposes to convert food waste into biodegradable, bioplastics that can be used for a variety of consumer plastics, including flexible and rigid packaging and containers for food and beverages.
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, for a project that proposes to convert swine manure and other organic feedstocks into biobinders for asphalt that increase the quality of recycled asphalt pavements. If commercialized, benefits include reduced landfill waste, reduced disposal costs for asphalt and food waste, and low-cost products.
- Soylei Innovations, of Ames, Iowa, for a project that proposes to transform high oleic soybean oil into thermoplastic rubber for pavements, which has the potential to extend repair longevity for existing surfaces. Low-cost paving solutions are particularly important in rural and underserved communities where road paving and maintenance budgets are underfunded due to a reliance on local tax revenues.
Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a transformative, historic investment for America to rebuild the physical infrastructure of our country, grow the economy for decades to come, create good-paying union jobs, and better position the U.S. to compete in a global economy.