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Energycane produces more biodiesel than soybean at a lower cost

URBANA, Ill. ­– Bioenergy from crops is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. New crops such as energycane can produce several times more fuel per acre than soybeans. Yet, challenges remain in processing the crops to extract fuel efficiently. 

Four new studies from the University of Illinois explore chemical-free pretreatment methods, development of high-throughput phenotyping methods, and commercial-scale techno-economic feasibility of producing fuel from energycane in various scenarios.

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CABBI challenges CRP status quo, mitigates fossil fuels

Researchers at the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) found that transitioning land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to bioenergy agriculture can be ad­­­vantageous for American landowners, the government, and the environment.

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ACES student offers sustainability advice in her first book

While quarantine can be rough, something good that has come out of it for many people is the discovery of new hobbies.

Maybe you took an interest in bread baking or tried the famous whipped coffee? Or maybe you’re like University of Illinois student Alexa Smith and decided to write a book during quarantine.

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Two ACES researchers receive 2021 iSEE seed funding

ACES professors Amy Ando, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, and Girish Chowdhary, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will receive 2021 seed funding from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the University of Illinois, under its 2021 interdisciplinary research initiative and Campus as a Living Laboratory (CALL) project. Read more from

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Outdoor adventures forge connections, science career paths

URBANA, Ill. – Ashli Trudeau wrapped her hand around the little bird ever so gently, carefully following instructions to keep the American Goldfinch safe. She could feel the bird’s tiny feathery heart racing against her fingers, and her own skipped a beat.

“Its feathers were one of the softest things I have ever felt,” she recalls. “I only held the bird for 10 or 15 seconds, but that memory will stay with me forever.”

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City Scholars program expands at Discovery Partners Institute

CHICAGO — The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and The Grainger College of Engineering are expanding the City Scholars program to now include the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech).

City Scholars also will pilot a food and agriculture-focused track in Spring 2021.

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Madhu Khanna named interim director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at U of I

Madhu Khanna, ACES Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) has been named Interim Director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at the University of Illinois. Khanna, who served as iSEE Associate Director for Research, assumed the role on Sept. 1.

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Advanced biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels

URBANA, Ill. -- Biofuel and bioenergy systems are integral to scenarios for displacing fossil fuel use and producing negative emissions through carbon capture and storage. But the net greenhouse gas mitigation benefit of these systems has been controversial, due to concerns around carbon losses from changes in land use and foregone sequestration benefits from alternative land uses.

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Recovering phosphorus from corn ethanol production can help reduce groundwater pollution

URBANA, Ill. – Dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product from corn ethanol processing, is commonly used as feed for cattle, swine and poultry. However, DDGS contains more phosphorus than the animals need. The excess ends up in manure and drains into the watershed, promoting algae production and eventually contributing to large dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.

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ACES researchers among 2019’s most influential scientists

URBANA, Ill. – Of the eight Illinois researchers recently recognized by the Web of Science group as Highly Cited Researchers, three are affiliated with the Department of Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. They include Elizabeth (Lisa) Ainsworth, Stephen Long, and Donald Ort.

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