Metabolix Plans Natural Plastics From Non-Food Crops


Corn based plastic seems so improbable. It's like the Corn Palace many of us have read about but probably will never see. It's too fantastic to think that hybrid popcorn will be used to construct hybrid cars. Corn based bio-polymers are transitional. They won't become commodities because objects made of not-oil can not be as useful as things made of not-oil, not-food. It seems that biotech companies like Metabolix realize that the long term future may be less corny than we have been led to believe. From their headquarters in the cornbelt of Cambridge MA, their publicity allows that: "Metabolix Natural Plastics are today made through fermentation of renewable resources such as corn sugar and vegetable oil, and, in the future, will be produced directly in plants such as switchgrass". Who else was it we heard talking about switch grass recently? Anyhow, Metabolix has teamed up with ADM to announce the first really commercial corn based plastics plant. See details below the fold.February 13, 2006
"Cambridge, MA. Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) and Metabolix have announced that ADM will build the first commercial plant to produce a new generation of high-performance natural plastics that are eco-friendly and based on sustainable, renewable resources. The plant will have an initial annual capacity of 50,000 tons per year and will be located at a major ADM North American site and serve the joint venture being established by the companies".

We wonder if it will be near the Corn Palace? If so, it would be well positioned for an eventual changeover to switchgrass.