November, 2010 -
I hope this message finds each and every one of you doing well.
Research & Technical Activities
The Fermentation Lab was occupied with two very similar projects that involved high sugar amendments derived from the processing of other biomass feedstocks (possibly for advanced biofuels production). Both projects had very good results in terms of improving the ethanol yield. We see this trend continuing at least at the lab scale as the concept of integrated biorefinery continues to take further hold.
We have been working to tie up loose ends with work completed thus far on cellulosic ethanol from corn kernel fiber, including preparing an abstract for the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in June 2011. We developed a draft proposal of next steps necessary for scale up of the work.
The idea of scale up has been well received and while it is contingent upon funding, it would seem possible in the not-so-distant future.
In November, we continued discussions internally and with potential vendors on the best seed train system to prepare NCERC to "officially" step into the advanced biofuels arena.
In a collaborative project with University of Georgia, a DOE funded project, 20 samples of DDGS from 10 different ethanol plants were tested for AOM, OSI, acidity, Peroxide Value, Iodine Value and moisture.
The NCERC received funding to study antioxidants and lipids in DDGS.
Samples for the
project have been sent to the Antioxidants Research Lab, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University
for antioxidant capacity study.
Pilot Plant and Facility Updates:
Early site preparation. Contractor awards were approved by the SIU Board of Trustees.
Facilities and Process Installation:
Bids for facilities and process Installation package are due Dec. 16, 2010.
Work remaining includes: finish insulating and mechanical and electrical demolition.
Mechanical and Electrical demolition is scheduled to start January 3, 2011 and will be complete by January 15, 2011.
Laboratory Fume Hoods:
Detailed design will be complete by December 31, 2010.
Outreach and Community Activities
November 1 - 5:
John Caupert (Director) represented the NCERC at a meeting of the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association. Thursday November 4, the NCERC hosted Dr. Larry Chandler (USDA, Midwest Director).
November 8 - 12:
John Caupert and Frank Romano (Director of Operations) spent the week developing budgets for SIU Director of Governmental Affairs, in order to strategize core funding needs beginning FY12.
November 15 -
19: John Caupert attended a Cellulosic Summit held in Washington, DC. Wednesday November 17 John Caupert, Dr. Sabrina Trupia (Asst. Director, Fermentation) and Dr. Yan Zhang (Asst. Director, Analytical Research) met with Dr. Bob Fireovid (USDA / ARS) to discuss research proposals, pending funding, for FY11 - FY12.
November 22 - 26:
John Caupert attended the annual Illinois Commodity Conference. During the conference, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was recognized by Illinois Corn Growers Association and NCERC for his dedication and support of the NCERC.
November 29 - 30:
John Caupert attended a meeting of the Illinois C-FAR, Corn Caucus held in Bloomington, IL.
Distiller's Grains Technology Council:
Dr. Yan Zhang (Asst. Director, Analytical Research) was invited to speak on the fate of amino acids during DDGS production.
AAFCO Midyear Meeting, 2011, the Laboratory Method Committee:
Dr. Yan Zhang was invited to speak on amino acid round robin study sponsored by AOCS.
Dr. Yan Zhang has written a manuscript, on work funded by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, which will be submitted to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
Dr. Yan Zhang has written two manuscripts from a study funded by the National Pork Board. The manuscripts pertain to research conducted on the fate of lysine and phytate during DDGS production.
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