Private Sector Partnerships Help Biofuels Research Center Break New Ground

July 24, 2013

The NCERC at Southern 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.

Edwardsville, IL (PRWEB) July 24, 2013

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 conduct advanced biofuels research.

In June, Littleford Day, Inc. provided the Center 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.

“This reactor enables NCERC to continue its grant-funded research at a scale not currently achievable in a laboratory setting,” Research Engineer Terry Lash said. “We’ve also had interest from the private sector in this type of work, and the Littleford reactor allows us to draw those clients in the door. In fact, simply having the equipment in the facility has already generated new opportunities and interest from clients for research beyond the purposes we anticipated.”

The DVT-130, marketed as a mixer, dryer and reactor, is primarily used by the Center for the investigation of new pretreatment technologies. The DVT-130 is also designed for medium and high intensity mixing of liquid and dry ingredients, low temperature vacuum drying, sterilization using steam injection, and high temperature drying and reacting.

Center Director John Caupert said the reactor contributes to the Center’s scope of advanced biofuels research capabilities and is a prime example of the types of public private partnerships the Center has excelled at creating.

“The NCERC is the only facility in the world at which corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, advanced biofuels, and specialty chemical research is conducted simultaneously,” Caupert said. “Partnerships with companies like Littleford Day enable us to continue offering our clients maximum flexibility and diversity in our research capabilities, while simultaneously advancing our own research for the public sector. We are fortunate to be uniquely equipped to bring the public and private sectors together for these mutually beneficial collaborations.”

Exposure to the NCERC’s vast array of clients and visitors is one of the primary motivations for companies such as Littleford Day to install their equipment at the Center at no cost.

“We are excited by the opportunity to gain valuable exposure of our process technology to the advanced biomass industry,” Littleford Day North Central Sales Manager Shawn Hearn said. “The Center has incredible relationships within the industry, and partnering with them allows us the opportunity to introduce our technologies to new audiences.”

The reactor is not the first equipment donated to the Center by private clients, who have installed process instruments, electrical control systems and many of the components of the Center’s unique fermentation suite. In 2011, NCERC installed a corn fractionation system valued at $4.5 million, of which Cereal Process Technologies donated $1 million of equipment and services. In addition, Siemens donated a $1 million distributed process control system during 2006.

Littleford Day and other donors benefit from their partnerships with the Center through technology demonstrations that provide exposure to potential clients, tax benefits for the value of the donation and attribution in any public research or scholarly articles published on experiments using the equipment.

“When we conduct client research using Littleford technology, the client is likely to go to Littleford to invest in the equipment when they decide to scale up their process,” Lash said. “Furthermore, Littleford is privy to any public research we accomplish using their technology and will be cited in any scholarly literature we publish as a result of that research."

About the NCERC

The NCERC at SIUE is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to the development and commercialization of biofuels, specialty chemicals and other renewable compounds. Established through federal and state initiatives, with support from the Illinois and National Corn Growers Associations, the Center promotes rural development and economic stimulus and is providing tomorrow’s workforce with the skills needed to meet the challenges of a changing energy environment. Designated as a Biorefining Center of Excellence, the Center assists in developing the technologies needed to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and provide consumers with economically sound and environmentally responsible fuel options. Research initiatives in renewable energy at the Center are supported through grants, contracts and donor contributions. For more information, contact Courtney Breckenridge, (618) 401-9218, cbreckenridge(at)ethanolresearch(dot)com, or visit http://www.ethanolresearch.com.

About SIUE

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottom land and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 14,000.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10956937.htm

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