Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, in partnership with Spiber America LLC, plans to expand efforts to produce lab-grown proteins such as spider silk for use in clothing and other products at ADM’s Clinton, Iowa, biorefinery.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority granted Spiber direct financial assistance of $1 million through its High Quality Jobs program last November, and ADM was awarded an additional $1 million in tax benefits from IDEA last week.

Based in Japan, this is Spiber’s first U.S. facility to produce biobased, biodegradable protein polymers for use in apparel, auto parts, and other products. For example, the company teamed up with The North Face Japan to release a line of jackets made with Spiber’s Brewed Protein polymers, which are produced through a plant-based fermentation process, spun into fibers and woven into fabric. Spiber’s technology has gained attention as a platform to generate alternative fibers to nylon and other petroleum-based materials, as well as animal fibers.

The Brewed Protein polymers will be produced by ADM using plant-based dextrose from corn as a feedstock.

The expansion in Clinton is expected to create 48 jobs, of which 47 are incented at a qualifying wage of $17.57 per hour. 

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