This is an electronic version of an article published in Dowling, A., & Mathias, J. A. (2007). Experimental determination of the insulating ability of corn by-products. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 30(2), 15-27. doi: 10.1300/J064v30n02_04 Journal of Sustainable Agriculture is available online at:


This article proposes and experimentally tests a way to better utilize renewable agricultural products that, if successful, will increase revenue for agricultural producers, decrease the amount and cost of disposal of non-renewable products, and decrease the amount of non-renewable products that need to be produced. In this article the insulating ability of ground corn cobs is compared, by experimental tests, to typical fiberglass, cellulose, and Rock Wool insulation. The study found that the insulating ability of ground corn cobs is not as great when compared to typical insulations, but using a greater thickness of insulation made from ground corn cobs or combining this insulation with typical insulations may be beneficial. In conclusion it is valuable to know how the insulating ability of ground corn cobs compares with typical insulations to determine if further research in this area is beneficial and to stimulate other possible ways to use renewable agricultural products.