February, 2011 -
I hope this message finds each and every one of you doing well.
Research & Technical Activities:
- A funded project to compare various hydrolysis procedures for amino acid testing in animal feed. Hydrolysate samples have been collected from the lab participants and analysis is on the way. Dr. Yan Zhang presented the study at Seed Composition Workshop of United Soybean Board.
- Collaboration with USDA ARS scientist to study the fate of virginiamycin during the production of DDGS. Both antimicrobial and analytical methods have been developed and we are in the middle of validating the two methods before running the samples from the pilot plant trial.
- A study of fat quality in DDGS. A progress report was presented and passed, and Dr. Yan Zhang was invited to write a proposal for Phase II study.
- A funded project to perform comprehensive evaluation of lysine digestibility in DDGS. A final report for NPB was sent on 2/22/2011.
- Dr. Yan Zhang is working with Dr. Jim Zhou, Department of Civil Engineering of SIUE, on a proposal to reduce fresh water usage by corn ethanol and other advanced biofuel plants.
- Fermentation Projects: We conducted a total of eight small scale (30 L or smaller) experiments including one commissioned as part of our USDA project on a strain GM barley. At the time of this writing we are analyzing the data from this experiment which will be the basis on which to decide if (funds permitting) we can go ahead with cultivation and pilot plant testing of these strains.
Pilot Plant and Facility Updates:
- Fractionation: Early site preparation demolition is complete. Facilities and process installation contractor installation to begin on March 22.
- Fermentation Seed Train: Solicitation for donation for some of the equipment is in process.
Quotations are being evaluated.
- Pretreatment Equipment: Cellulosic pretreatment equipment is being investigated.
- Laboratory Fume Hoods: Detailed design complete. Contractor bidding the week of March 14.
Outreach and Community Activities:
- Attended the annual meeting of the Mon-Clair Corn Growers.
- Participated in a discussion on bioproducts and biofuels hosted by the World Affairs Council.
- Represented Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at the quarterly meeting of the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences.
- Attended the annual National Ethanol Conference, organized by Renewable Fuels Association.
- Participated in an Advisory / Leadership Board meeting of the newly formed Professional Scientific Master's in Energy and Biofuels Management created by Southern Illinois University - Carbondale.
Upcoming Fuel Ethanol Workshop:
- Four abstracts have been submitted to the FEW 2011 review committee:
- Conversion of Corn Bran to Ethanol
- Fate of Phytate During the Bioprocess of Making DDGS
- Evaluation of Lipids in Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles
- A Survey of Mycotoxins in U.S. Distiller's Dried Grains with Solubles from 2009 to 2011
Until next time, have a good, productive and safe month.
John Caupert, Director National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center
Phone: 618-659-6737 Ext 226