The Iowa Corn Growers Association led a pre-seed financing round to support Låkril Technologies with a $500,000 venture capital investment to replace petroleum adhesives and super absorbents with home-grown, corn-based alternatives. The Kentucky Corn Promotion Council joined with an additional $100,000 investment.
Låkril’s underlying, proprietary technology was developed at the University of Minnesota and allows for breakthrough acrylic acid yields of greater than 90% from plant-based lactic acid. Låkril has broken through the yield barrier on its way to delivering a plant-based alternative for existing products, at cost parity with petroleum key ingredients. Acrylic acid, which has a global production of over 15 billion lbs. per year from petroleum equivalent to about 800 million bushels of corn, is used in a diverse array of consumer products like diapers, paints and adhesives.
“Iowa Corn is dedicated to finding new uses and markets for corn to meet our mission for long-term Iowa corn farmer profitability,” said Denny Friest, President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association in a news release. “Corn farmers effectively produce corn in a sustainable way, and plant-based products, like acrylic acid, provide consumers with the green materials they are looking for while creating demand for home-grown products from rural America.”
The Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Kentucky Corn Growers Association were joined by grants from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Corn Marketing Council of Michigan, and the National Corn Growers Association.
“These projects allow us to develop key portions of our technology platform,” said Låkril Technologies President Chris Nicholas. “We’re pleased with the progress scaling our breakthrough lactic-to-acrylic technology this summer, and appreciate the support from the corn growers, USDA, and DOE which have brought us to over $1,400,000 in pre-seed funding.”