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National Corn to Ethanol Research Center

400 University Park Drive 

Edwardsville, IL 62025 


Located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the NCERC has contributed greatly to the optimization of corn to ethanol production and fully engaged in advanced biofuel production since its inception in 2003. NCERC has excelled in collaboration with academic scientists and industrial partners by providing flexible processing design at its pilot plant in tandem with sophisticated fermentation laboratory and state-of-the-art analytical testing services. With a diversified effort, the NCERC invites scientists from the field of bioenergy research to pursue grant funding opportunities and industrial support in order to turn promising ideas into competitive solutions.


NCERC Capabilities

Pilot plant

            With an area of 24,000 square-feet, it operates at a 100-400 bushel’s of corn per day capacity and offers continuous or batch run operation. The comprehensive bioprocessing operation units include dry grind, wet milling and front end fractionation (Spring, 2011), slurry and mashing, four 6000-gallon fermentors, distillation, back-end separation with decantor and evaporator, two types of dryers, as well as a cutting edge control system for monitoring mass balance and production yield.


Fermentation Laboratory

            Provides seed train service from 250 ml, 1 L, 5 L to 30 L fermentation. This lab is experienced in handling a wide variety of feedstock and microorganisms, and provides scientifically and statistically sound research designs and results.


Analytical Laboratory

            Provides chemical characterization of feedstocks, intermediates, product and co-product of biomass studies. In addition, this lab is able to provide molecular composition of trace compounds in complicated matrix due to the high selectivity and sensitivity of liquid chromatography / mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS).


NCERC Achievements

● Worked with hundreds of clientele representing academia, government, technology providers, trade associations, as well as domestic and foreign ethanol producers;


● Tested a wide variety of feedstocks; assisted scale-up of new technologies; optimized biofuel production; introduced state of the art instrumentation for biofuels production; 


● Conducted a wide variety of research projects funded by USDA, DOE, state agencies, trade associations, and private industry;


● Trained dozens of college students through our workforce training program, who are now employed directly in the biofuels and chemical industries.



Updated Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Data for Corn Ethanol Production - produced by the Univeristy of Illinois Chicago Energy Resource Center

Deputy Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory Brian West speaks to Bobby Likis Car Clinic to dispel ethanol myths with science.