Lindsay Mitchell

Oct 16, 2013  |  ICGA


CONTACT: Lindsay Mitchell
                  (309) 557-3257


BLOOMINGTON – Today, the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) congratulates the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) for ten years of exemplary service to the agricultural and ethanol industries.

NCERC, a unique research facility built to support the ethanol industry, opened its doors in October 2003. Since that time, the Center has been on the leading edge of biofuels research for both the public and private sectors.

“The thing about NCERC that makes it special is that it is available for any industry partner to use,” said Dave Loos, ICGA Technology and Business Development Director.  “It is a facility that provides training, research support, lab support, and pilot plant facilities for any process requiring fermentation.  It is available to all public and private researchers in the ethanol industry, and benefits the industry as a whole.”

ICGA was an advocate for the development of this facility, working alongside the Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Congressional Delegation, Southern Illinois University, the USDA, and many industry supporters.  Together, we felt there was a need for this unique type of research center to accelerate commercialization of new technologies, increase production efficiencies, and develop value added co-products for the ethanol industry.

NCERC has certainly delivered on the collective vision.  Ten years later, there are no federal tax incentives for ethanol and many efficiency and value added improvements to the ethanol production system.

“More than 50 technologies that have passed through our building are now in the commercial marketplace,” said John Caupert, NCERC Director. “The Center continues to conduct groundbreaking research that has the potential to address some of the most pressing issues of our day.”

“During the last decade, the Center has undergone significant changes to keep up with the evolution of biofuels policy and industrial needs,” Caupert added. “Yet despite the many changes from technology and equipment to feedstocks and process, our mission and our role remain the same: to facilitate the research, development, and commercialization of biofuels.”

Among the highlights of the last ten years in service to the industry, NCERC has:

  • Acquired one of the largest distillers grain libraries in the country consisting of samples from ethanol plants throughout the industry.
  • Performed research on the utilization of many different feedstocks for ethanol production – from candy corn to corn kernel fiber.
  • Evolved into an advanced biofuels center that can now produce other fuels, chemicals, and products from corn starch.

NCERC will continue their celebration with an open house today in Carbondale where the community can tour the facility, eat lunch, and participate in a variety of demonstrations.

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. The Center’s fully functional dry grind pilot plant and laboratories are equipped with advanced biofuels capabilities including corn fractionation, pretreatment, and a fermentation suite with 5, 30, 150 and 1500L scale-up. Facilities are staffed by industry veterans with more than 100 years of collective experience in fermentation and biofuels production. This knowledgeable team has the flexibility and expertise to design and carry out projects in any region of the advanced biofuels or specialty chemicals space.  For more information, contact Courtney Breckenridge, (618) 659-6737 ext. 230,, or visit