$115 million bioenergy research centre opened at University of Illinois

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A $115 million bionenergy research centre has opened at the University of Illinois in the US.

The new Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation had its opening ceremony on the 1 February 2018. A collaboration between the University’s Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment, the facility has been funded with a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Generating new fuel products directly from plants to reduce US dependence on fossil fuels are the goals of the facility, according to the Associated Press. To this end, a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Illinois will partner with experts from 17 other institutions on the project.

Among the partners are Iowa State, Princeton, Mississippi State, West Virginia and Boston Universities.

Evan DeLucia, a biology professor who’ll direct the new project, told the Associated Press: “We’re really hoping to open the door to a whole bio-economy where we’re using plants as factories.”