Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis
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Working for Kansas

Now is the time to plant
the seeds of innovation
that will create jobs across
Kansas and grow the
State’s economy


While the chemical industry has relied heavily on crude oil feedstocks for a century, the tide is changing. Growing consumer demand for products made from renewable resources is creating a tremendous economic opportunity predicted to reach $100 billion by 2020.  Kansas—with the nation’s 4th largest amount of biomass—could capture a significant share of this multi-billion dollar enterprise.

Economic opportunity

CEBC is helping the State chart a course toward a thriving renewable chemicals industry.  We are developing novel technologies to convert grasses, crops and after-harvest leftovers into various chemicals, such as the building blocks for durable plastics and synthetic fibers.  In addition, one of our corporate partners, Archer Daniels Midland, is leasing laboratory space from KU adjacent to CEBC to develop efficient ways to make renewable chemicals. 

To ensure that Kansas plays a prominent role in the burgeoning business landscape for renewables, CEBC is not only creating innovation opportunities for high value chemical targets.  We are also working with legislators and university administrators to recommend strategic investments that will help Kansas overcome commercialization barriers for renewables and foster a new economic engine for the state.

The return on investment

Successful technologies will generate considerable licensing revenues, increase farm revenues and attract corporate manufacturing facilities statewide. In the long-term, this strategy has the potential to create thousands of new jobs, and add vitality to rural communities. Furthermore, investments will raise the prominence of the University of Kansas, add talented faculty and students, and enhance the education of the next generation workforce.

Kansas Biorefining Potential:

  • Kansas ranks among top five states in the U.S. for available biomass
  • If Kansas were to capture even a modest 1% of the U.S. chemicals market, that would represent a $7.2 billion annual industry in Kansas
  • In addition to biomass, Kansas has a unique combination of valuable assets such as oil, natural gas, wind energy, and pipeline/transportation infrastructure that are essential to support a thriving renewable chemicals industry

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