(UPI)--To try to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. is developing technology to convert discarded corn into usable energy.

As part of a joint effort with Iowa State University and Carbon Energy Technology Inc., Pioneer is researching and testing a process to convert seed corn into gas, which can be burned to produce heat.

"We hope to reduce our dependence on natural gas by burning seed that would otherwise be discarded," said Greg Tingley, a production plant manager.

In a structure called a gasifier, Pioneer converts into gas unsold seed that is returned and cannot be re-bagged for quality or age reasons. Gas produced is burned to produce heat, possibly for drying seed corn.

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