With plans to spend $23 million on a new research facility, the University of Illinois is a great market for lab suppliers hoping to increase laboratory equipment sales and market university lab equipment at life science marketing events. Construction will begin on the University of Illinois’s biofuel research lab this fall, and the lab will be used to research biomass-derived biofuels like cellulosic ethanol. According to Biomass Magazine, funding will come from the Illinois Capital Development Board. The lab is expected to be completed in 18 months after construction begins.
The News Gazette reports that the University of Illinois has been planning the 43,000-square-foot facility since the fall of 2006. The building’s funding was approved years before state legislators approved a capital funding plan in 2009. The biofuel research lab will accommodate companies that pay $10,000 a year for access to faculty expertise, internships for master’s students, the pilot plant, annual networking conferences, an online class and bioenergy class presentations. DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Novozymes have already partnered with the lab.
“Industry needs to have something that they can grab hold of, that they can see at a somewhat larger scale and evaluate at a larger scale,” said Hans Blaschek, director of the University of Illinois’s Center for BioEnergy Research and a professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
The biofuel research lab will be house biotechnology, fermenting, corn milling and soybean processing laboratories. Fermenters will be no bigger than 300 liters, so they will produce a few gallons of fuel. The facility will be built up to LEED standards.