The Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) is a National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) that focuses on developing high-value biobased products from agricultural and forestry feedstocks.
CB2 is a collaborative effort by the Biopolymers & Biocomposites Research Team at Iowa State University, the Composite Materials and Engineering Center at Washington State University, and industry members to conduct commercially relevant research.
Iowa State and WSU are in a unique position to successfully develop and operate a bioplastics center. Iowa State is an established leader in the area of biobased products and WSU has a strong history of research and inventions in natural fiber polymer composites. By bringing together their expertise, the center will be able to successfully transfer their ideas, results and technology to the U.S. plastics industry.
The vision of the center is to develop the knowledge that will allow the production of an array of high-value products, including plastics, coatings, adhesives, and composites, from agricultural feedstocks that are compatible with current industrial manufacturing systems and thereby promoting rural development.
The goals of this center are threefold: (1) to improve the basic understanding of the synthesis, processing, properties, and compounding of bioplastic and biocomposite materials; (2) to develop reliable material characteristics data for industrial partners; and (3) to support large-scale implementation of renewable materials. In order to achieve these goals, the activities will be:
Collaboration with industry to develop fundamental knowledge of bioplastics and biocomposites
Dissemination of this knowledge through publications, workshops, and tradeshows
Education of future researchers, engineers, and scientists
Iowa State is the lead institution and responsible for overall operation of the center. Each institution has a site director who will be responsible for administration of all research, budget, outreach, and related activities at their institution. There is an independent center evaluator who meets all NSF requirements. Intellectual property and contract related issues are administered by each institution respectively, but there is a general agreement (drafted) with the center to resolve differences. The center activities are supported by industrial memberships in accordance with NSF eligibility requirements for a multi-university I/UCRC.
Additional support is provided by the Iowa State University Center for Crops Utilization Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Engineering, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Leading the Bioeconomy Initiative; and the Washington State University Composite Materials and Engineering Center and Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.