seal  Purdue News

November 11, 2003

Federal funding to help Purdue further ethanol research

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University School of Agriculture will receive $2 million in federal funds as part of the energy bill to support corn-based fuel research, it was announced Monday (11/10).

The money will enhance the university's efforts to provide core technologies for a biobased chemical industry cluster to operate in the Midwest, said Randy Woodson, director of agricultural research programs at Purdue.

"Our intent is to provide a regional focal point in biobased chemicals – an equivalent of California's Silicon Valley," Woodson said. "Our initial efforts will focus on technologies for corn dry mills."

Corn dry mills are comparable to oil refineries. In corn dry mills the input is corn instead of crude oil, and the output is ethanol rather than gasoline. The mills also produce distiller's grain.

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Indiana) secured the funding. His northwest Indiana congressional district is home to some of the leading corn producing counties in the state.

"Indiana farmers stand to benefit greatly from technologies that aid in the processing of corn," Visclosky said.

Woodson said the university's short-term goal is to develop technologies that will enhance the value, environmental qualities and number of competitive products of dry mills so that small producers, including farmer-owned cooperatives, can benefit.

"Future markets for Indiana farmers and rural businesses will come from the combination of new technologies and our agricultural base," said Victor Lechtenberg, dean of agriculture at Purdue. "This effort will help position Indiana as a center for biofuels research and development, stimulate the state economy and provide new ways for our farmers to make money."

Purdue is part of the Midwest Consortium for Sustainable Biobased Products and Bioenergy, which includes Iowa State University, the University of Illinois, Michigan State University, Argonne National Research Laboratory and Ames National Research Laboratory.

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682,

Sources: Randy Woodson, (765) 494-8362,

Victor Lechtenberg, (765)494-8391

Pete Visclosky, (202) 225-2461

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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