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The latest news from the NCERC at SIUE and the biofuels industry
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First North American commercial cellulosic ethanol plant opens

New plant will produce ethanol at a rate of 20 million gallons per year.
The NCERC's insight:

Poet-DSM’s plant confirms what has been tested and proved in the Illinois-located National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center. Putting this research into action can lead to the exciting growth of cellulosic plants across the country,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition chairman. Other states, including Illinois, Florida, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Kansas, will soon have cellulosic plants, and plans are underway for additional plants in more than 20 states.

 

“Cellulosic ethanol has the ability to address two national issues: our dependence on foreign oil and the viability of our nation’s farms,” Governor Quinn added. “Cellulosic ethanol production can make our agricultural system more resilient and sustainable while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Experts in Illinois and Iowa are hard at work making that happen, and Poet-DSM is a great step toward achieving that.”

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Ethanol Producer Magazine – The Latest News and Data About Ethanol Production

Ethanol Producer Magazine – The Latest News and Data About Ethanol Production | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
The National Corn-to-Ethanol Center opened its doors for tours, lunch and demonstrations during a recent open house celebration. NCERC began operation in October 2003, and conducts biofuel research for both the public and private sectors.
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National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center offers hands-on experience for political science student : This Week In CAS

National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center offers hands-on experience for political science student : This Week In CAS | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

Senior political science major Nasir Almasri will begin a journey in advocacy this semester because of a new opportunity offered by the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, which is located on the SIUE campus.

 

Almasri, of Chicago, will spend at least the current semester working at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) gaining hands-on experience advocating to legislators in Springfield about biofuels, which are fuels created from living organisms, such as plants.

The NCERC's insight:

Looking forward to a great relationship with Ansir as he begins his project at the NCERC!

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NCERC to Utilize Littleford Day Polyphase System to Expand Pretreatment Technologies Research For Cellulose and Biomass | BioFuels Journal

NCERC to Utilize Littleford Day Polyphase System to Expand Pretreatment Technologies Research For Cellulose and Biomass | BioFuels Journal | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
Edwardsville—The NCERC at SIUE is again reaping the benefits of its partnerships with the private sector in the form of donated equipment that enables the Center to con...
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NCERC Kicks Off 10th Anniversary Celebration

NCERC Kicks Off 10th Anniversary Celebration | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
The NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville began its 10th anniversary celebration Thursday by hosting more than 100 guests who are in St. Louis for the annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) at America’s Center.
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Speaker Spotlight - 2013 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo

Speaker Spotlight - 2013 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

3 Questions with Sabrina Trupia Sabrina Trupia of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center

The NCERC's insight:

You are presenting three times at this year’s Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo. How does a speaker prepare themselves for this opportunity?
This is my first time presenting three times at a conference, but I am really looking forward to it! I have presented back-to-back presentations once or twice before and I have to say that in those occasions, the key thing was knowing my subject matter very well. The audience at FEW is usually pretty friendly, so it is also to go with a relaxed attitude, because you are among friends. Also, a good night’s sleep always helps.

After managing all 71 of NCERC’s labscale fermentation projects, what have been some of the most rewarding moments between project one and project seventy-one?
What an excellent question! I have approached each one of those projects as an experience from which I could learn something. As time has gone by, the learning has changed in quality. At the beginning, it was all about the technique and design of the experiments. Now, it is more about building on previous experience and trying to anticipate what is going to happen. My most rewarding moment? Completing a complex, multi-week project and delivering the results ahead of time.

You mention policy as a hurdle in designating corn as an advanced biofuel in your abstract. What other challenges are there and how can it be changed?
I stand by my statement that policy is the biggest hurdle. The rest is what I love to do, the research. In other words, if policy was not an obstacle, the next “obstacle” would be the tweaking of methods and ingredients to optimize the process, which is what we and others are currently working on anyways. The main difference between NCERC and others is that we are trying to understand the process of conversion in the most general, “bolt-on” way possible, so that it is available to any first generation producer who wants to venture in the cellulosic space.

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DDGS-to-cellulosic ethanol process could commercialize rapidly

DDGS-to-cellulosic ethanol process could commercialize rapidly | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
NEAtech, a new energy alternatives company, is searching for financing to further test and commercialize its patented distillers grain-to-cellulosic ethanol process.The consulting company received the patent in October.
The NCERC's insight:

The process has been tested extensively at laboratory and bench-scale with the assistance of Novozymes, Danisco and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said Mark Yancey, president and CEO of NEAtech. The next step is to demonstrate it works at pilot scale, which could be completed at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, pending financing.

 

“The NCERC facility would work perfectly with some minor modifications to produce fermentable sugars,” Yancey said, adding that the testing would include the pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation steps.

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Labs look to vendors and each other for answers

Labs look to vendors and each other for answers | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
In the latest issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, the NCERC was interviewed about lab innovation and performance. Dr. Sabrina Trupia says successful ethanol plant labs are built around three intersecting components: “performance, understanding and communication.” Each component, especially the latter, must be methodical and unremitting. After all, even the best data integrity practices fall flat when internal communication breaks down.
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Rep. Rosenthal honored by Biofuels Research Center

Rep. Rosenthal honored by Biofuels Research Center | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

EDWARDSVILLE — SIU President Glenn Poshard emphasized the importance of continued support for the Illinois biofuels industry to an audience of state representatives, senators, and industry leaders at a luncheon at the NCERC Biofuels Research Center last week.

 

Poshard recognized the members of the Illinois General Assembly in attendance with a certificate of appreciation for their unwavering dedication to the biofuels industry. State Sens. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) and state Reps. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Litchfield), Paul Evans (R-Highland), Brad Halbrook (R-Effingham), and former state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) were honored for their support of the Center in the Illinois General Assembly.

“The NCERC is an asset to our state and to our nation, and I am proud to support the Center in its mission of advancing biofuels research.” Rosenthal said. “It is an honor to be recognized as a champion for the biofuels industry and the Center, and I look forward to continuing to support its mission in the General Assembly.”

 

The NCERC at SIUE is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to the development and commercialization of biofuels, specialty chemicals and other renewable compounds. The Center assists in developing the technologies needed to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil.
www.ethanolresearch.com.

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NCERC researcher to present at 2012 National Advanced Biofuels Conference and Expo

NCERC researcher to present at 2012 National Advanced Biofuels Conference and Expo | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

On Wednesday, November 28, Dr. Sabrina Trupia, Asst. Director of Research at the NCERC, will present on "Paving the Road to Cellulosic Commercialization" at the 2012 National Advanced Biofuels Conference and Expo in Houston.

 

Trupia's lecture will take place as part of the discussion on integrating next generation fuels and chemical production with existing biofuel assets. Simultaneously, first generation biofuel producers are looking to diversify their output streams while next generation technology and process providers are looking for established partners with a track record of production and profitability to more quickly bring them to commercial scale. The question now is which combinations of technology and hosts will deliver the most value to their respective parties. This panel examines both approaches that deliver entirely new products from the same inputs as well as processes that drive value into currently under-utilized coproducts and side streams.

 

 

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Caupert to moderate panel at SIU Tech and Innovation Expo

Caupert to moderate panel at SIU Tech and Innovation Expo | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
The SIU Technology and Innovation Expo will allow researchers to bounce their ideas off business professionals and give students a chance to show off their innovative skills.

 

The panel on sustainable prosperity will be moderated by John Caupert of the National Corn and Ethanol Research Center. The keynote speaker will be Michael Marlaire, NASA Research Park director and four-degree alum of SIU.

 

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Going after the getable - NCERC research paving the way

Going after the getable - NCERC research paving the way | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

Persistence breeds good fortune, and so it is that corn fiber—the low-hanging fruit of cellulosic ethanol—is on its way to becoming one of America’s most getable advanced biofuel feedstocks. As told in this month’s page-30 cover story, “Going for the Fiber,” a fortuitous discovery made by a plant engineer at Quad County Corn Processors is now culminating in an $8.5 million “bolt-on” cellulosic addition to the existing 30 MMgy ethanol plant in Galva, Iowa.

 

Holly Jessen reports that Quad County will soon have the ability to produce an additional 1.8 MMgy of ethanol that may ultimately be deemed an advanced biofuel by the U.S. EPA. Additionally, the plant will achieve huge corn oil yield gains and produce a high-protein animal feed that may command a premium. 

 

The story is extraordinary because Quad County, despite being a relatively small plant, developed an in-house technology that is potentially transformative. It is also extraordinary because it illustrates the new heights being reached by producers utilizing next-generation enzymes tailored to make the C6 sugars in corn fiber available for fermentation.

 

While Quad County is employing a single-stream approach, producing grain and cellulosic ethanol in “one pipe,” others continue to prove the near-term viability of cellulosic ethanol from fractionated corn bran. As Jessen points out in her page-37 feature, “Corn Ethanol 1.5,” the recent success of the National-Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) and its client-partners is further evidence that going after the alcohol in corn bran is a good incremental step toward achieving greater quantities of cellulosic ethanol from larger-volume feedstocks.

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Illinois Agriculture 2012 -- Fueling Success Feature Story

Illinois Agriculture 2012 -- Fueling Success Feature Story | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

Check out the "Fueling Success" feature story on page 20 to read more about the tremendous impact of the ethanol industry in Illinois and how the NCERC is playing a role in creating the next generation of biofuels.

 

If corn is king in Illinois, then ethanol is definitely prince. A decade ago, 55 percent of the
country’s gasoline supply came from imported oil; today, that number is 45 percent. And ethanol is the big reason why. In addition, ethanol now accounts for one out of every four gallons of fuel produced from domestic energy sources.


In Illinois, that growth means good business. With 14 ethanol plants in the state producing 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol each year, the industry utilizes 670 million bushels of Illinois corn, employs nearly 4,000 workers, and adds about $5.3 billion to the state’s economy. It’s an industry that fuels much more than gaspowered vehicles.


“Ethanol has been the economic engine of agriculture throughout the United States,” says John Caupert, director of the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC). Illinois is a good example, he explains, because “it’s an industry that has provided tremendous financial stimulus for rural areas, which, in turn, has been good for business across the state.”

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Ethanol Producer Magazine – The Latest News and Data About Ethanol Production

Ethanol Producer Magazine – The Latest News and Data About Ethanol Production | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
Corn kernel fiber conversion technology holds great promise, but RIN integrity standards are paramount to the value and marketability of advanced ethanol derived from this exciting new pathway. Fortunately, quality assurance plan services are here.
The NCERC's insight:

Shortly after the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center started development of corn kernel fiber-to-ethanol technologies. Initially, NCERC worked on advancing fiber characterization and pretreatment technologies, then followed up in 2009 with work on the fermentation process. This work was supported with experimental enzymes from Novozymes. In parallel, private technology providers have also advanced the technology, which is now entering commercialization. The current state of the technology would produce approximately 10 percent more ethanol at a dry-grind facility from fiber in the corn pericarp and corn flour using regular unmodified yeast (S. cerevisiae).

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NCERC's Trupia is Featured Speaker During USDA Summit

NCERC's Trupia is Featured Speaker During USDA Summit | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
Dr. Sabrina Trupia, Director of Research at the NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will address an international audience via teleconference Tuesday to share her expertise on sweet sorghum, an emerging advanced biofuel feedstock.
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NCERC benefits from new technology to boost research program

NCERC benefits from new technology to boost research program | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

In Illinois, Littleford Day, Inc. provided the NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with its Littleford DVT-130 polyphase system via a 90-day, no-cost lease. The Center leveraged the value of the no-cost lease as matching funds for research grants from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity. As a result, the Center was able to expand upon its ground-breaking investigation of new pretreatment technologies for cellulose and biomass cellulose used in the production of advanced biofuels

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Private sector partnerships help NCERC break new ground | Biomassmagazine.com

Private sector partnerships help NCERC break new ground | Biomassmagazine.com | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
The NCERC at Sothern Illinois University Edwardsville is again reaping the benefits of its partnerships with the private sector in the form of donated equipment that enables the center to conduct advanced biofuels research.
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Ethanol Producer Magazine | EthanolProducer.com

Ethanol Producer Magazine | EthanolProducer.com | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
The U.S. EPA has proposed categorizing as advanced biofuels ethanol produced from corn fiber and butanol that meets the 50 percent GHG emission reduction.
The NCERC's insight:

NCERC has long held that cellulosic ethanol from corn fiber is a viable way to transition from first generation ethanol to cellulosic ethanol and on to other advanced biofuels, said Sabrina Trupia, assistant director of biological research for NCERC. In the years that NCERC has studied corn fiber-to-cellulosic ethanol many people have expressed skepticism. The EPA’s proposed rule makes Trupia feel vindicated and happy that NCERC’s persistence paid off. “When it came out yesterday, we were dancing in the corridors,” she said.

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Study Shows Benefits from Integration of Sweet Sorghum Juice in Corn Mash for Ethanol Production - Sorghum Checkoff

Study Shows Benefits from Integration of Sweet Sorghum Juice in Corn Mash for Ethanol Production - Sorghum Checkoff | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it
May 6, 2013 — LUBBOCK, Texas – The Sorghum Checkoff in collaboration with the NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (formerly the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center) is pleased to announce a successful bench-scale evaluation of ...
The NCERC's insight:

The NCERC is leading the way in the validation and scale up of next generation biofuels and feedstocks such as sorghum. Dr. Sabrina Trupia's recent collaboration with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program demonstrates that sweet sorghum juice sugar can also help ethanol producers diversify their feedstocks and serve as a bridge to the next generation of biofuels.

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NCERC at SIUE Hosts Siemens Mobile Showcase

The mobile showcase, a 53-foot tractor trailer featuring a fully functioning instrumentation demo on wheels, has made more than 100 stops spanning 18,000 miles across the United States as part of its “Measuring Success” tour. The showcase will visit the Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Center’s parking lot.

“We are excited to host Siemens as they showcase the latest and greatest in their process instrumentation and analytics products,” NCERC Director John Caupert said. “Our pilot plant is operated by a state-of-the-art Simantic PCS 7 control system, valued at more than $1 million, which was donated to the Center by Siemens in 2007. From workforce training programs and hands-on instruction in biofuels process control to generous capital gifts to the Center, Siemens has been a long-time partner of the NCERC and we look forward to seeing their latest advances firsthand.”
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Measurable Success

Measurable Success | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

Data integrity is crucial at a research facility like NCERC but it’s no less important at production plants, says Sabrina Trupia, assistant director of biological research at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center. She makes the argument that the ethanol plant lab’s ability to positively influence profitability is linked to whether it is staffed with qualified and well-trained employees. That’s going to be the company’s first line of defense in keeping yield at optimal levels, Trupia says. For example, a lab that utilizes the right tests and recognizes a stuck fermentor early on won’t have to add additional antibiotics, yeast or enzymes, which can be costly. Not catching it on time could result in lower quality distillers grains as well as a loss of efficiency. “In this day and age, where it is a really knife edge where a plant makes it or breaks it, it’s even worse,” she says. Howes agrees, adding that, “In today’s environment of very tight crush margins, there is no room for error.”

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Haine named 'Friend of Agriculture' by Madison County Farm Bureau - Articles | RiverBender.com

Haine named 'Friend of Agriculture' by Madison County Farm Bureau - Articles | RiverBender.com | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

ALTON, Illinois – Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) was honored by the Madison County Farm Bureau last week with the "Friend of Agriculture" award for his work on behalf of local family farms.

 

Haine has supported measures extending tax incentives to farmers who invest in new equipment, making sure that farms can pass from generation to generation without overburdensome estate taxes, and creating sales tax exemptions and expanded research opportunities for biodiesel and ethanol production of crops grown on Illinois farms.

 

"The National Corn to Ethanol Research Center at SIUE, a
first-of-its-kind biofuels research facility, establishes this region as a leader in the development of the energy of the future and presents prospective employers with an attractive location to do business."

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State Leaders Honored at the NCERC at SIUE

Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard emphasized the importance of continued support for the Illinois biofuels industry to an audience of state representatives, senators and industry leaders at a luncheon at the NCERC at SIUE Advancing Biofuels Research Center last week on the SIU Edwardsville campus.

 

Other speakers during the Center's Illinois General Assembly Appreciation Day luncheon in University Park included: SIUE Provost Ann Boyle, Illinois and National Corn Growers Past President Leon Corzine and Illinois AgriEnergy President Eric Mosbey. Center Research Engineer Eric Beasley highlighted the Center's success as a public-private partnership and outlined industry goals moving forward.

 

 

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Corn Ethanol 1.5

Corn Ethanol 1.5 | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

John Caupert, director of the National Corn-to-Ethanol-Research Center, is passionate about the subject of corn bran to cellulosic ethanol. He believes it’s not too strong to say that if first-generation ethanol producers want to stay competitive within their own balance sheets, they must be considering commercially available bolt-on cellulosic ethanol technologies today. “We’re very, very excited about this work, and we think the entire industry will be very soon,” he tells Ethanol Producer Magazine, hitting the table for extra emphasis.

 

NCERC announced it had successfully produced cellulosic ethanol from fractionated corn bran in May. In September, researchers embarked on a project to ferment corn flour, while paying special attention to the corn fiber to improve ethanol yield, says Sabrina Trupia, assistant director of biological research for NCERC. As of the week of Sept. 17, researchers had scaled up to 150 liter fermentations. Another sign of progress is Quad County Corn Processors’ plans to add bolt-on cellulosic ethanol technology to its corn-ethanol facility. (See the story on page 30 for more details.)

 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory completed several cooperative projects in this arena in the 1990s and early 2000s, says Andy Aden, a former senior research engineer at NREL. One study published in 2004 concluded that fermenting additional alcohol from distillers grains was readily accomplished, showed promising results in an animal feed trial and came with a two-year payback period. Another one laid out the results of fermenting “quick fiber,” produced in a modified milling process developed by the University of Illinois. Despite these and multiple other projects targeting wet mill and dry mill ethanol plants, the concept didn’t get a lot of traction, Aden says. Recent signs show that trend may be changing, however. “It will be interesting to see if it continues to gain momentum,” he says. “I’m excited that there are still people looking at this and there are companies working to make it happen.”

 

In the months following NCERC’s announcement on corn bran-to-cellulosic ethanol, Caulpert has met repeatedly with officials from the White House, the USDA and various trade and commodity groups, he says. But he’s also heard from people who have a been-there-done-that attitude about corn bran cellulosic ethanol. The difference is that in times of cheap corn ethanol producers didn’t have the drive or the necessity to become as proficient and efficient as possible. “$8 corn turned that on its ear,” he says, adding that the push to waive the renewable fuel standard is also playing a part. That’s why he feels strongly that the existing grain-based ethanol industry will have an important place in the advancement to cellulosic ethanol. “The quickest way to get there is through the adoption of commercially available bolt-on types of technologies,” he says.

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Legislators honored at NCERC appreciation luncheon

Legislators honored at NCERC appreciation luncheon | Advancing Biofuels News | Scoop.it

SIU President Glenn Poshard emphasized the importance of continued support for the Illinois biofuels industry to an audience of state representatives, senators, and industry leaders at a luncheon at the NCERC Biofuels Research Center last week.

 

Poshard recognized the members of the Illinois General Assembly in attendance with a certificate of appreciation for their unwavering dedication to the biofuels industry. State Sens. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) and state Reps. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Litchfield), Paul Evans (R-Highland), Brad Halbrook (R-Effingham), and former state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) were honored for their support of the Center in the Illinois General Assembly.

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