ENST Dr. Lansing Gets $6M in Grants to Support Work in Creating Biofuels, Bioplastics from Food Waste

Stephanie Lansing will serve as principal investigator, establishing a consortium of scientists and industry partners with the goal of creating renewable resources

Dr. Stephanie Lansing inspects a methane digester project at the USDA Beltsville Research Farm

Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg

September 1, 2021 Samantha Watters

From leftovers neglected in the fridge until they go bad to crops that spoil because of faulty storage, a shocking one-third of the world’s food—nearly 1.5 billion tons yearly, according to a United Nations estimate—goes uneaten.

Now, a University of Maryland professor is leading two new grants totaling $6 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop sustainable products from food that otherwise would become waste.

Goods like plastics and traditional fuels rely on petroleum and other fossil energy sources, which are finite and costly to the environment to extract and use. The two grants are funding a consortium of scientists and industry partners led by Stephanie Lansing from the Department of Environmental Science and Technology to not only research innovative ways to use waste, but also develop marketable biofuels and bioplastics that will both protect the environment and create economic gains.

“The two grants are really focused on different avenues for renewable resource production,” Lansing said. “How can we take the resources we have and find a way to use them sustainably?”

Read full story at Maryland Today site