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NCERC Director Lends Support to Biofuels Development Act

News Release
Contact: Courtney Breckenridge
Office: 618-659-6737 ext. 230

Rep. Enyart and John CaupertEDWARDSVILLE – NCERC Director John Caupert spoke in support of increased partnership between the military and the biofuels industry this week as Congressman Bill Enyart (D-Ill.) unveiled his Biofuels Development Act of 2013 at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Research Farm in Belleville.

Enyart, a member of the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees, introduced a plan to build on an existing Memorandum of Understanding between the US Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and the Navy to promote military use of biofuels. The Biofuels Development Act would provide competitive grants to existing biofuels research centers to fund pilot-scale research, development, and testing of bio-based fuels for use as an aviation fuel for Air Force aircraft.

“The Biofuels Development Act leverages our region's existing resources – our natural transportation network, the most fertile farmland in the nation, a skilled workforce, and more than a century of combined biofuels expertise at our Center – and brings those assets together to advance our nation's energy security,” NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert said. “Farmers have proven they are more than capable of feeding and fueling a growing world, we want to continue to give them that opportunity. We will be taking agricultural products, including cropland residue, and converting it into the fuel that powers a fleet of aircraft. And best of all, every drop of homegrown fuel produced here is one less drop imported from countries that are less than friendly to our nation's interests.”

Speaking at the SIUC Research Farm, which overlooks Scott Air Force Base, Enyart said the Act would boost the local economy and increase American energy security.

“We stand beside fields of corn and soybeans that will be harvested in the coming weeks. Across the fence from those crops are runways that support fighter jets and refueling tankers that keep our country strong and secure from threats from throughout the world,” Enyart said. “We have an idea whose time has come. Here in Southern Illinois, we can lead the way to both an energy independent country and a vibrant economy here at home.”

Caupert and other agriculture leaders, including representatives from the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers Association, and the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association, praised Enyart for his work on behalf of Illinois agriculture and ethanol.

“I applaud Congressman Enyart for his leadership on this issue and encourage his fellow members to support the Biofuels Development Act,” Caupert said.

Photo cutline: NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert with Congressman Enyart

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

About SIUE
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottom land and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.

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