Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc.

Mississippi State University Licenses Patents on Kenaf Technology to Texas Renewable Manufacturing Company

Renewable manufacturing company is poised to commercialize kenaf-based products.


McKinney, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/01/2011 --Two patents from Mississippi State University (MSU) on kenaf are licensed to Texas-based Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. (CBMI) for use in replacing wood products in engineered pressed board.

Kenaf, a fibrous plant similar to bamboo, grows as tall as 10 feet with a woody base up to 4 inches in diameter. An annual plant species with a 1 year growth-cycle, kenaf is a readily renewable biomass source.

CBMI has licensed an MSU patent for the production of a kenaf core board and an MSU patent for a machine, called a “decorticator” that separates the kenaf material. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers spent 12 years studying the commercial usefulness of kenaf fibers.

The results of the research into kenaf include:

Three unique US Patents
A book detailing kenaf properties and processing techniques
Genetic discoveries which resulted in the development of a new variety of kenaf

Chase Kasper, interim director of the MSU Office of Technology Commercialization, says the company intends to include kenaf fiber in their pressed board products. “CBMI is looking to blend kenaf into their board products, to achieve a combination of flexibility, rigidity and durability required for the products they are making. We are excited about their capabilities and potential product offerings which will incorporate kenaf. This creates a good opportunity for CBMI to enhance and diversify their product offerings.”

The “Decorticator” machine, developed and patented by MSU researchers, separates the coarse fiber in the outer layer of kenaf from the finer fiber in the core of the stem. The kenaf fiber, which is related to hemp, has a variety of uses, including rope, coarse cloth, paper, engineered wood, animal bedding, packing material and oil and liquid absorption.

Lane Segerstrom, CEO of Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. explains that the company specializes in engineering and manufacturing non-wood pressed board materials engineered for specific uses as a replacement for wood products.

The company can produce material for thousands of consumer product applications, and has licensed the MSU technology to take advantage of kenaf’s potential. “Kenaf is a relatively unknown and underutilized biomass material that we believe has excellent properties and potential as a wood replacement technology,” Segerstrom says. “We will integrate kenaf and kenaf board into our existing products and seek to develop new products that utilize the unique properties of kenaf.”

CBMI will be developing an upcoming line of snowboards and skis, and kenaf offers a flexibility the company intends to integrate into these products. “We are able to engineer pressed board products specific to each end product use,” Segerstrom says. “This offers us limitless possibilities in the design and manufacture of new products using our non-wood pressed board.”

In addition to gaining use of two MSU patents, CBMI has licensed a patented technology from the University of Illinois for the production of CornBoard™, which is a complementary technology to kenaf board. “We recognize the importance of having established and progressive technology partners like the ones we have found with Mississippi State University and the University of Illinois,” Segerstrom says. “CBMI looks forward to expanding our relationships with both institutions in the future.”

About Mississippi State University:
Mississippi State University is the largest university in the state of Mississippi, and is a leading agricultural research institution. MSU is highly regarded in Forestry Research and has a large and active Agricultural Extension Service.

Mississippi State University
Office of Technology Commercialization
Chase Kasper -Director

About Corn Board Manufacturing Inc.:
Corn Board Manufacturing Inc. was founded in McKinney, Texas in 2009 by CEO Lane Segerstrom. CBMI controls technologies to convert biomass materials into non-wood engineered pressed board material that can be used to replace wood in thousands of products and applications.

Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc.
Lane Segerstrom – CEO
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