Energy Center

Ethanol co-products team awarded for research, outreach

May 18, 2009

 

The Integrated Corn Ethanol Co-Products team is an interdisciplinary applied research and Extension rapid-response effort composed of more than 40 researchers representing five departments within Purdue Agriculture, including Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Animal Sciences, and Botany and Plant Pathology.

"This team is a great example of what can happen when a group of researchers cross disciplines and work together to address issues on a global scale," said Jay Akridge, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "The team's contributions to renewable energy sectors through research and Extension are playing a vital role in creating more sustainable agriculture and biofuels industries."

The team first came together in 2006 to address issues surrounding the increasing production of dry distillers' grains with solubles (DDGS) from the corn ethanol industry. Projects have included research in the DDGS production process, impacts of DDGS as an animal feed ingredient and the economics of its use.

"Since the ethanol boom we've been hearing a lot about the food versus fuel debate, but the truth is that it's possible to fuel and feed America," said Klein Ileleji, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and Integrated Corn Ethanol Co-Products team leader. "Using DDGS as a feed source for livestock not only reduces ethanol waste, but it eliminates the idea of ethanol being a food versus fuel issue."

In addition to research, the team created a series of Bioenergy Extension publications, sponsored several seminars and a conference for stakeholders, and wrote numerous scientific journal articles.

"We know corn ethanol will be a major fuel source in the near future, but right now there are still some issues with DDGS in terms of storage, handling and variability of co-products from plant to plant," Ileleji said. "That's what we're working on."

Winning the 2009 Team Award was not only an honor, but it also gives the team even more encouragement to continue its efforts, Ileleji said.

"Going forward we'd like to continue our research in an evolving biofuels industry," he said. "DDGS are developing as a feed source, but they differ widely from plant to plant. It's a matter of finding that balance between feed efficiency and ethanol efficiency, and doing it in a sustainable, environmentally friendly, secure and healthy way."

The Integrated Corn Ethanol Co-Products team was funded by the participating departments, as well as through partnerships with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and The Andersons Clymers Ethanol.

Team members include Seth Bossingham, Dennis Buckmaster, Clairmont Clementson, Arnoldo Garcia, Teshome Jiru, Don Jones, A.R.P. Kingsly, Dirk Maier, Chad Martin, Kyle Probst, Shannon Snyder and Richard Stroshine of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Becky Goetz, Laura Hoelscher, Steve Leer and Russell Merzdorf of Agricultural Communication; Omar Abdel-Latief, Bhawna Bista, Frank Dooley, Kenneth Foster, Brandon Hollas, Joseph Hubbs, Chris Hurt, Paul Preckel and Wallace Tyner of Agricultural Economics; Ricardo Paulo Arias, Brad Joern and Lori Snyder of Agronomy; Sunday Adedokun, Layi Adeola, Todd Applegate, Matthew Claeys, Shawn Donkin, Patrick Gunn, Zhengyu Jiang, Scott Lake, Mickey Latour, Ronald Lemenager, Michael Neary, Scott Radcliffe, Brian Richert, Allan Schinckel, Nicole Schmelz, Lauren Snyder, Alan Sutton and Catalina Troche of Animal Sciences; and Charles Woloshuk of Botany and Plant Pathology.

The Team Award was created in 1995 to honor the achievements of Purdue Agriculture faculty and staff working in interdisciplinary teams. Winning teams receive $10,000 to help fund future research and outreach projects.

For more information on bioenergy and to access the team's publications, go online to http://extension.purdue.edu/renewable-energy/bioenergy.shtml

 

Writer: Jennifer Stewart, (765) 494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

 

Source: Klein Ileleji, (765) 494-1198, ileleji@purdue.edu

 

 

Ag Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Steve Leer, sleer@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

 

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