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I hope this message finds each and every one of you doing well.
Research & Technical Activities:
- A study on the “Quality of Eggs Impacted by Feeding DDGS to Layers” has been funded. Several conference calls have been made between the research team and the funding agencies to ensure the study design will answer all the questions the funding agencies intend to have answers by the research project. The PI of the project, Dr. Zhang will send monthly report to the funding agencies.
- A project to conduct explosibility survey of co-products from corn to ethanol production was funded. The co-products include DDGS, corn gluten meal (CGM) and corn gluten feed (CGF). Representative samples have been sent to a well-established commercial lab for the test of ASTM E1226.
- A study on fat quality of DDGS has been funded. The study which involves laboratory simulation of DDGS storage and its potential impact on fat quality of DDGS was reviewed by the research team and sampling will start in January, 2012.
- A project to evaluate lysine damage in DDGS produced by the client by characterizing the furosine, lysine and crude protein levels in the DDGS samples. Samples were received and the work has started.
- Ongoing Corn Kernel Fiber grant funded work; we received another strain of genetically-modified yeast from USDA/ARS. We also received un-modified precursors of the yeast, so we can directly compare yields. We have completed growth curves for these strains and compared them to those obtained at USDA/ARS and we have undertaken a “baseline” experiment with modified and un-modified yeasts.
- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities released a Request for Proposals for the “Illinois Next Generation Biofuels Production Program” which will cover capital expenses to modify or retrofit renewable fuels plants in Illinois that want to expand in the production of next generation biofuels. NCERC is applying for this grant; Senior Research Engineer Terry Lash and Dr. Sabrina Trupia were busy crafting the proposal as well as finding opportunities that will allow the NCERC to increase funding requests through matching donations of equipment.
- November 3, 2011, was a historic day for the NCERC:
- Annual meeting of the NCERC Technical Advisory Committee, with full attendance of each member of the committee present.
- Ribbon cutting ceremony of the much anticipated Corn Fractionation System, part of a $3.5 million capital improvement of the NCERC biofuels pilot plant.
- Announcement of a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding between the NCERC and U.S. Department of Agriculture / ARS.
- NCERC Staff: Dr. Yan Zhang was a guest speaker at a U.S. Grain’s Council International DDGS Training Program. Dr. Zhang was invited as a guest speaker to discuss NCERC research studies related to mycotoxins in DDGS, generated from 2006 to 2011.
- NCERC Staff: Dr. Yan Zhang attended the annual meeting of the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA). At this meeting, Southern Illinois University President Glen Poshard was honored by the ICGA for his support of the NCERC and a robust ethanol industry.
- NCERC Staff: Dr. Sabrina Trupia was asked (and has accepted) to sit on the Advisory Board of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Environmental Technology PSM degree. Dr. Trupia also serves on the SIUE Biotechnology PSM Advisory Board.
- NCERC Staff: Dr. Sabrina Trupia oversaw the “official” launch of the Illinois Ethanol Consortium, a group whose purpose is to advance the transformation of current ethanol plants into integrated biorefineries by highlighting corn kernel fiber conversion as the stepping stone to general cellulosic ethanol conversion processes.
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