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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) develops high-value biobased products from agricultural and forestry feedstocks. CB2's vision is to develop the knowledge that will allow the production of an array of high-value materials from agricultural feedstocks that are compatible with current industrial manufacturing systems, thereby promoting rural development. Such materials include plastics, coatings, adhesives, and composites.

CB2's goals are to:

  • Improve the basic understanding of the synthesis, processing, properties, and compounding of bioplastic and biocomposite materials.
  • Develop reliable material characteristics data for industrial partners.
  • Support large-scale implementation of renewable materials.

To achieve these goals, CB2 collaborates with industry to develop fundamental knowledge of bioplastics and biocomposites; disseminates this knowledge through publications, workshops, and tradeshows; and educates future researchers, engineers, and scientists.


  • Iowa State University
  • North Dakota State University
  • University of Georgia
  • Washington State University
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Dean Webster
Center Director
+1 701 231 8709

Eric Cochran
Site Director
+1 515 294 0625

Jason Locklin
Site Director
+1 706 542 2359

Karl Englund
Site Director
+1 509 335 6259

Chad Ulven
Site Director
+1 701 231 5641

Michael Sylskar
Center Coordinator
+1 701 231 7284

Research Focus

CB2 focuses on the following five research areas to promote industrywide acceptance of bioplastics and increase the use of sustainable materials:

Biobased products

This research focuses on the development of bioplastic products including composting, product labeling, and economic analysis. Part of CB2's existing system is an interactive life cycle assessment web-based software that allows users to easily analyze their current and future products.


This research leads to a deeper knowledge of biocomposites, including fiber synthesis, biobased resin systems, and biobased fiber systems. These areas include self-healing composites, fiber production from lignin, and nanotechnologies.


CB2 affiliates have a proven track record of working with member companies to successfully commercialize biobased products. Because CB2 offers member companies royalty-free access to intellectual property resulting from its projects, CB2 is well-positioned for direct technology transfer from academia to industry. CB2 supports the development of Small Business Innovation Research program proposals and business plans, facilitates networking, and identifies markets and potential market penetration. This allows member companies to leverage their resources and increase their profits.


Modeling research studies energy and mass transfer processing techniques such as extrusion and injection molding. The long-term goal is to develop models based on fundamental principles that can be used across a wide range of sciences.


Processing research will focus on the specific requirements of biobased polymers and composites during vital processing operations. This includes melt processing, extrusion, and molding, as well as secondary operations such as cutting, welding, and coating.

Synthesis and compounding

This area will develop fundamental understanding of bioplastic synthesis and compounding, including fermentation and polymerization. This includes vegetable oil-based materials, biobased waxes, monomers, elastomers, poly(ester-amides), and other sustainable approaches to advanced functional materials and polymer additives and feedstock production.


Member Organizations

IUCRC affiliated member organizations are displayed as submitted by the Center. Non-federal organizations are not selected, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the National Science Foundation.