New Center for Bioenergy Research

Author: Jeff Wagner, WCIA

Published Date:June 6, 2011

News story about the CABER Bioprocessing Laboratory Ribbon-Cutting event on June 6, 2011.

Published Date: June 6, 2011

U of I taking collaborative step with new lab

Author: Kay Shipman, Illinois FarmWeek

Published Date:June 1, 2011

Article about the CABER Bioprocessing Laboratory.

Published Date: June 1, 2011

Thursday webinar focuses on biomass potential for area farmers


Published Date:January 17, 2011

Growing biomass crops could be an easy, and potentially profitable, transition for some area farmers.


"Particularly for producers that have hay in their operations and own or are accustomed to order custom hay harvest or do their own, it would give them a place right in their operations for baling a grass biomass crop like switchgrass or miscanthus or an easy transition to baling corn stover and selling it as biomass feedstock. For farmers less accustomed to working with baling operations, it would be a bit of a change," said Fred Iutzi, sustainable development program manager for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University and Illinois Biomass Working Group facilitator.


"Any change to a cropping system, or any change to management, has a lot of challenge, but certainly the transition to biomass is within the ability of producers to tackle if they find it's a good fit for their operations."


Funds are available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish, produce and deliver biomass feedstocks such as corn stalks, perennial grasses like miscanthus and quick growing pulp wood.

Published Date: January 17, 2011

Illinois Biomass Working Group Hosts Webinar on USDA's Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) on January 20

Author: WIU via

Published Date:January 13, 2011

( - The United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) Biomass Crop Assistance Program ( BCAP ), an incentive program for biomass feedstock production, will provide financial assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forestland who wish to establish, produce and deliver biomass feedstocks, according to Fred Iutzi of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs ( IIRA ) at Western Illinois University. The application period for this program is now open, and a free webinar for producers and other interested parties is scheduled for multiple sites throughout the state from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20.

The webinar -- organized by the Illinois Biomass Working Group ( IBWG ), the IIRA, and University of Illinois Extension -- will feature Don King, chief program specialist for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Illinois, and Tim Slating from the University of Illinois' Energy Biosciences Institute. Iutzi noted that King and Slating will discuss the program and the application process. An overall strategy for organizing applications to target the critical project areas of BCAP will also be discussed.


Published Date: January 13, 2011

Corn herbicides promising in miscanthus weed control

Author: Jennifer Shike, U of I

Published Date:January 11, 2011

University of Illinois research reports that several herbicides used on corn also have good selectivity to Miscanthus xgiganteus (Giant Miscanthus), a potential bioenergy feedstock.

“No herbicides are currently labeled for use in Giant Miscanthus grown for biomass,” said Eric Anderson, an instructor of bioenergy for the Center of Advanced BioEnergy Research at the University of Illinois. “Our research shows that several herbicides used on corn are also safe on this rhizomatous grass.”

M. xgiganteus is sterile and predominantly grown by vegetative propagation, or planting rhizomes instead of seed. This can be a very costly investment and requires a 1- to 2-year establishment period. Anderson’s research showed that Giant Miscanthus does not compete well with weeds during establishment, especially early emerging weeds.

Published Date: January 11, 2011