New Uses for Grains DiscoveredBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 8, 2010
Besides feeding humans and livestock, grains are being put to new uses. Ethanol production accounted for 690 million bushels of corn last year. Micro-droplets of corn starch are being incorporated into tires to reduce weight and friction.
Corn-based polylactic acid is being made into food packaging, plastic cups, and fabric that will biodegrade when composted. Many industrial chemicals and solvents can be made from corn rather than from petroleum products. Soybeans can be processed into biodiesel fuel, ink, crayons, wood adhesives, lubricants, paint, and toner for copy machines.
Polymers made from a combination of corn and soybeans are being used to make farm machinery, medical instruments, and components for boats, computers, and automobiles.