Design research for corn biomass raw materials

Project development lead, West Lafayette, IN.

Hapa is an on-going interdisciplary endeavour to research and develop a set of products in conjunction with the Purdue University Dept. of Food Science Bioprocessing Lab that encourage further interest in, and provide a path to market for, corn stover — the biomass material left on the field after harvest. Corn stover is a readily available raw material and currently a ‘waste’ product of the agricultural corn production industry.

Corn stover can be processed similarly to wood to have pulp and even fiber qualities. This project is investigating the following through product design: What are the benefits of corn stover as a raw material? Where can it add both sustainability to the manufacturing process and value as a better product? How does corn stover as a raw material fit into a global business model of procurement and production?

We envision that some day in the future, many of our paper and textile products will come from an abundant source already within our agricultural cycle.