Earlier this month EarthClean, a past Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) client and Ag Innovator of the Year recipient, announced that the U.S. Forest Service certified its TetraKO XL-P, the first ready biodegradable product, for use on wildland firefighting operations. The product, made in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a cornstarch based water enhancer that is now part of the Forest Service’s Qualified Products List (QPL).
“Its inclusion in the QPL represents a watershed for our company and furthers our mission to provide organizations with new tools to add to their firefighting arsenal,” explained James R. Grabek, EarthClean Corporation President.
Because of its potential for use in in a wide variety of applications, including environmentally sensitive lands, AURI saw the product’s potential from the outset and was glad to assist in product development. This cooperation was both a great example of AURI’s mission and integral to making EarthClean’s idea a reality.
“AURI congratulates EarthClean on this step forward and is proud to see Minnesota’s innovative clients succeed,” said AURI Executive Director Shannon Schlecht. “This is especially true when agricultural based products can provide an effective tool to tackle challenging situations, such as wildfires that grip the United States and other countries each year.”
In 2015, AURI named EarthClean its Ag Innovator of the Year. The award recognized TetraKO’s ingenuity and excellence in innovation, as well as its potential to expand markets through the use of Minnesota commodities.
“Because this is a cornstarch product, it utilizes Minnesota commodities in a new way,” said Michael Sparby, senior project strategist with AURI. “By supporting new and expanding companies, we work to foster long-term economic benefit to the state. It was an honor to assist EarthClean through its product development, which included support from the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council.”