Research Center Makes Biofuel Breakthrough
by Kathie Bassett (The Telegraph) Researchers at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville have successfully produced an environmentally friendly, cost-effective biofuel from the non-edible portion of a corn kernel.
“What we did was take the most common form of cellulose that exists and convert it into fuel ethanol,” Advancing Biofuels Research Center Director John Caupert said. “What is exciting from the consumer’s viewpoint is that all the technology is currently commercial available.”
This groundbreaking research has the potential to lessen dependency on foreign oil and provide consumers with economically sound and environmentally responsible fuel options, said Doug McIllhagga, a communications spokesman for the university.
Utilizing a mechanical process called fractionation, corn kernels are broken into three components.
“The kernels’ bran, its fiber or cellulose, doesn’t ferment in conventional processes,” Caupert said. “But through mechanical separation, we can convert it into fuel ethanol.
…”This is a significant milestone with immediate industry impact, but producing cellulosic ethanol from corn bran is also proof that cellulosic ethanol could be produced at the center utilizing any cellulosic feedstock,” Trupia said in a news release. “From a research perspective, this is only the first step in a very exciting road toward a future of energy security.” READ MORE