Corn is a species of grass that is known as a versatile food product. It can be eaten on the cob, from cans, and processed into many other different types of food, including corn syrup. Nevertheless, it may surprise you to know that when grain transport companies haul corn away from the field, most of it will not be used for food. Corn has many industrial applications as well.
Ethanol is a type of alcohol made from corn and used as an additive in gasoline. It is cheaper and more cleaning-burning than petroleum and doesn’t have to come from overseas. Some newer cars are built to run on a fuel mixture that is up to 85% ethanol.
Different parts of the corn kernel are used to give glues and adhesives their stickiness. Corn germ is used in industrial glue to increase its adhesive qualities. Because cornstarch becomes sticky when it is moistened, it is an ingredient in the adhesives used to close envelopes.
Corn products are used in the production of textiles such as carpets. They are used to color or dye fabric or as a substitute for petroleum in the manufacturing process. Producing textiles with corn products instead of petroleum offers many of the same benefits as adding ethanol to gasoline.
Cornstarch may be used as an electrical conductor in some batteries. Because of its potential energy, corn derivatives provide bioelectricity in many types of batteries.
Corn-based plastics have been developed to reduce the environmental impact of traditional plastic products. Here are some of the advantages they have to offer:
- 55% less greenhouse gases emitted
- 68% less fossil fuels used in production
All this does not even get into the many different uses for corn syrup, which include sweeteners for food and binding agents for medication. Corn is also a significant source of vitamin C, and so is found in supplements.