Currently, the vast majority of the paints and plastics that are everywhere around you are made from oil. While oil is vital in the production of these products that enable our way of life, it is a diminishing resource that contributes to climate change. But what if we could make these same paint and plastic products not from oil, but from plants? Pyran co-founders Professor George Huber, Dr. Kevin Barnett, and Dr. Kefeng Huang did just that when they discovered a new chemical pathway to make an oil-based chemical called 1,5-pentanediol (1,5-PDO) out of corn cobs.
Products made from 1,5-PDO can be found in many everyday items such as nylon in your clothing, paint in your local home improvement store, and plastics in your car. All 1,5-PDO is currently made from oil, which Pyran will replace with its renewable corn cob-based 1,5-PDO at less than half the cost!