On the Dakotan side of the grass, things are beginning to look a little greener. A the joint research venture between South and North Dakota — Dakota Bioprocessing Consortium — has been awarded $6 million dollars to research molecules found in grass to see whether or not they can be turned in to supermarket items.
The research will take place over three years to see whether or not molecules such as lignin, found in grass, lumbering and municipal waste, into plastics, detergents, cosmetics and other supermarket items.
The National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Research awarded $3 million to each of the two affiliate states, South Dakota and North Dakota, to spend within their own jurisdictions to build the collaborative infrastructure needed to support this research effort. Faculty investigators from SDSU work closely with faculty investigators and graduate students from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University will go through a rotation process that will take them through each of the participating schools.
DakotaBioCon brings together schools SDSU, SDSM&T, NDSU and the UND for one common goal: to find renewable replacements for the chemicals that these consumer items are made from instead of their current petroleum source.
“It’s an attempt to build an integrated approach to studying how you can get chemicals that have value to people