Action on industrial hemp in the United States by ProQuest


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									                                                                                              356           inform June 2009, Vol. 20 (6)

       Students turn
       corn, soy into new
       Three teams of Purdue University (West
       Lafayette, Indiana, USA) students that
       created new uses for corn and soybeans—
       melt-away cupcake liners, biodegradable
       cork, and toilet paper—took top honors in
       the 2009 Student Soybean and Corn Inno-
       vation Contests.
             The competition, sponsored by the
       Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana
       Corn Marketing Council, focuses on teach-
       ing students how to become innovative
       entrepreneurs. The awards were presented
       in March.
             “These contests are about more than
       just creating new products,” said Bernie        TerraMat, a soy-based cork product created by Purdue University students Jacob Smoker, left,
       Tao, Indiana Soybean Alliance professor of      and Mohamad Abiad, tied for the top prize in the 2009 Indiana Student Soybean Innovation
       soybean utilization at Purdue and an AOCS       competition. Courtesy of Purdue Agricultural Communications. Photo by Tom Campbell.
       member. “These contests help the students
       take what they have learned in class and             “Our team was thinking about creat-             This year’s competition drew a record
       apply that knowledge to solve real-world        ing waxed paper from soybeans or corn,          33 students on 12 teams—nine of which
       issues.”                                        but we decided we wanted a more novel           competed in both corn and soybean catego-
             Purdue’s TerraMat (see photo) and         product,” said Erin Rosswurm, one of the        ries. Other products in this year’s compe-
       Melt-A-Way Cupcake Liners teams tied for        product’s inventors. “I was thinking one        tition included a decomposable flowerpot,
       top honors in the soybean portion of the        night about how waxed paper could be            snow removal and de-icing solution, car
       competition, earning $17,500 each.              improved and came up with the idea for a        wax, paint balls, disposable cups, biode-
             TerraMat, a cork product that can         cupcake liner. Our entire team has cooking      gradable cigarette filters, hydroplaning
       be made of both soybeans and corn, was          and food science experience, so the project     solution, biodegradable shotgun cartridge
       created by Jacob Smoker and Mohamad             used a combination of our interests and         casings, and a biodegradable garden
       Abiad.                                          backgrounds.”                                   container.
             “We spent hours on the phone and in            Rosswurm’s teammates were Victo-
       the lab, on conference calls and in meet-
       ings, trying to come up with an idea that
                                                       ria Horton, Marci Colglazier, and Anna
                                                       Verseman.                                       Action on industrial
                                                                                                       hemp in the United
       would be new and innovative,” Smoker                 “One of my favorite memories from
       said. “One day while we were brainstorm-        the contest was our first trial run, when
       ing in the lab, Mohamad noticed a synthetic
       cork board and suggested we try a natural,
                                                       the cupcakes came out of the oven with
                                                       no major problems,” Rosswurm said. “I
       biodegradable cork product. We researched       was so scared that we would have smoking        Cultivation of industrial hemp in the United
       it and found that there were no corn- or soy-   cupcakes or some other disaster and that        States may become legal if a bill introduced
       bean-based cork products on the market.”        we would have to start the process from         in Congress is passed by both houses.
             With that, TerraMat was in the works.     scratch.”                                       The oil and fiber of industrial hemp—the
       The product can be used i
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