Minneapolis, Minnesota - Cargill has opened a 19 000-sq.ft (1760 sq.m) laboratory for bio-based polyols in Plymouth, Minnesota, this week. The BiOH Polyols Research & Development Center has a pilot production area to simulate customer production plants for testing of new products, the group said, in its 10 Aug announcement. "We have built a world class R&D center to support the growth of a world class bio-based polyols business," commented Yusuf Wazirzada, business manager for biobased urethane polyols at Cargill, in the Cargill announcement.The BiOH soya-based materials were initially aimed at producers of flexible foam for automotive seating, bedding and furniture, but Cargill now says it wants to extend the technology for replacing petroleum-based polyols into a "wide range of urethane applications, from rigid foams to elastomers." "This new facility will reduce the time it takes us to go from concept to trial," said Ricardo De Genova, technical manager for the BiOH business and director of the new lab, in the announcement, adding that the materials are "truly new, not just incremental change." epwPIC: Technologist Matt Caldwell in the new Cargill laboratory. "