In the News

USGC helps expand export potential for DDGS, ethanol to Ecuador

By U.S. Grains Council | May 11, 2018
Picture of Ecuadorian contingent

The USDA’s Cochran Program recently brought an Ecuadorian delegation to the United States to learn more about ethanol.

 Identifying how U.S. feed grains and co-products can meet the specific demands of a local market is the specialty of the U.S. Grains Council’s staff around the world. In Ecuador, the Council is successfully helping swine and poultry producers improve their feed formulations using U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and is exploring how U.S. ethanol can help the country meet its blend mandate.

IBRL hosts Cochran Fellows to advance biofuels in Ecuador 

URBANA, Ill. – As part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Cochran Fellowship Program, the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) is hosting eight agricultural professionals from Ecuador for two weeks of training focused on the U.S. biofuel industry.

Read more at:

Group shot of five Cochran Fellows and UIUC representatives

Japan Corn Starch Opens New Corn Wet Milling Facility with Guidance from Dr. Vijay Singh 

With a collaborative relationship spanning 3 decades, University of Illinois and Japan Corn Starch have worked together on many projects. Most recently, IBRL director Dr. Vijay Singh helped with the design of Japan Corn Starch’s new corn wet milling plant. To celebrate the opening of the plant, College of ACES Dean Kim Kidwell and Assistant Dean of Advancement Kimberly Meenen joined Dr. Singh on a trip to Kimura, Japan where they stood side by side with Japan Corn Starch President and CEO Soichiro Kurachi to commemorate the opening as well as the ongoing relationship between Japan Corn Starch and University of Illinois research.

DOE Grants $10.6 Million to produce more biodiesel, biojet fuel

February 25, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the University of Illinois a $10.6 million, five-year grant to transform two of the most productive crops in America into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel. The new research project Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane—or ROGUE—kicks off on Feb. 25 with a team meeting held in conjunction with the 2018 Genomic Sciences Program Annual Principal Investigator Meeting in Tysons, Virginia.

New fermentation technology improves bioethanol production

February 9, 2018

Research at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) at the University of Illinois continues to improve the dry-grind process used to produce ethanol from corn.

“One of the major challenges in the dry-grind process is use of high corn solid loadings needed to achieve high ethanol concentrations and make distillation more economical,” says Vijay Singh, director of IBRL and a professor in the U of I Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.



Search for sustainable fuels drives researchers at UI’s new bioenergy center

February 2, 2018

A Midwest crop of the future: grasses and other plants that produce their own oils to be used as fuel or byproducts.

That’s the vision behind a new bioenergy research center being launched today at the University of Illinois with help from a five-year, $115 million grant from the Department of Energy, one of the largest ever received by the campus.

New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops 

January 16, 2018

photo of mixed herbaceous energy crops According to a recent ruling by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 288 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel must be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply in 2018. Although this figure is down slightly from last year, the industry is still growing at a modest pace. However, until now, producers have had to rely on incomplete information and unrealistic, small-scale studies in guiding their decisions about which feedstocks to grow, and where. A new multi-institution report provides practical agronomic data for five cellulosic feedstocks, which could improve adoption and increase production across the country.

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New research at Illinois could make ethanol production more efficient and economic

New research at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory could significantly change ethanol production by lowering operating costs and simplifying the dry grind process.

Full text of the research can be found at Biotechnology for Biofuels.

Another state-of-the-art tool added to UI belt

WCIA3 press conference with Chapin Rose

Sen. Rose: Major state investment in bioprocessing to boost local businesses to compete for up to 20,000 jobs in new market

Senator Rose Press Conference on IBRL construction resuming.

IBRL’s IDOT project

Learn more about the work that IBRL has done with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Integrated systems mteabolic picture of acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have, for the first time, uncovered the complex interdependence and orchestration of metabolic reactions, gene regulation, and environmental cues of clostridial metabolism, providing new insights for advanced biofuel development.

Forgotten Resource Studied for Sustainable Energy Crops

Article on IDOT’s project

Sustainable Technology 2014

As part of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center 2014 Annual Report, learn more about the IDOT project.

Observed Effects of Warm Season Perennial Grass Agriculture on Resident Mammal Species

Article by IBRL student, DavidLeimbach – April 2015

This study focused on the observed impact of switching from a corn / soybean agricultural rotation to the planting of warm season perennial grasses for use in biomass agriculture, as well as the subsequent effects on resident mammal populations. We trapped two parcels of land planted in warm season perennial grasses between September 2011 and October 2013 in order to obtain a census of the mammal populations residing upon the property and to determine the impact (if any) of the change in agriculture. During the first year of the study, a seemingly inhospitable (urban) agricultural area revealed a diverse population of inhabitants. The second year of trapping resulted in the capture of 2 new species (total of 7 species captured) and the noticeable absence of 1 species; a distinct shift in mammal populations had been observed. There was an inverse relationship between the population increase of Peromyscus maniculatus during 2012 and the decline in the population of Peromyscus leucopus. When a Chi-square test was run (P<0.05), the hypothesis of competitive exclusion appeared to be supported. In the third year, population numbers of Peromyscusmaniculatus had also plummeted. We observed that warm season perennial grass monoculture had an adverse impact on resident mammal species.


Construction to begin on bioprocessing laboratory

Daily Illini November 6, 2014

Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory planned in Illinois

BioMass Magazine November 6, 2014

Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory will be unique facility on UI campus

College News October 23, 2014