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ND, SD universities get bioprocessing grant

PIERRE (AP) -- Four universities in North Dakota and South Dakota have been awarded a $6 million grant to establish a research consortium that will study the use of a plant material to replace petrochemicals.

The National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research has awarded funding for North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, South Dakota State University and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

The money will be used to establish the Dakota Bioprocessing Consortium.

The consortium's primary goal will be research that will produce viable, renewable replacements for existing petrochemicals.

The research will use lignin, which binds cellulose fibers in wood and plants, as a starting raw material.