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Southern Illinois University broke ground yesterday on a $20 million ethanol research facility in Edwardsville, where scientists will test new technologies and processes aimed at cutting the costs of producing ethanol, which is added to gasoline to help reduce pollution.
The center is expected to help add value to farmers' corn crops and meet growing demand for ethanol in urban areas, according to the Associated Press.
"This is a tremendous step forward in our efforts to broaden the use of ethanol in this country and across the globe," said Illinois Governor George H. Ryan, who joined university President James Walker and state politicians in breaking ground for the new National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Pilot Plant.
The 23,000 square foot plant, expected to be completed by January of 2003, will include both a corn wet and dry mill ethanol pilot operations, the governor's office said.
"This is an important project for the continued growth of the ethanol industry," said Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, a national trade association for the U.S. ethanol industry. "It is important to pursue and implement cutting edge technology as ethanol use continues to expand throughout the country."
"The ethanol industry is committed to increasing the role for clean, renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply," said Dinneen, who added that the research center would help reduce production costs and boost efficiency.