New U Of I Bioprocessing Research Lab Celebrates Grand Opening

September 28, 2018
 
University of Illinois administrators, local legislators and  the governor during a ribbon cutting at the IBRL facility on the U of I Urbana campus.

University of Illinois administrators, local legislators and the governor during a ribbon cutting at the IBRL facility on the U of I Urbana campus.

Anna Casey/Illinois Public Media

The University of Illinois has a new research center dedicated to bioprocessing, a broad term that essentially means turning plants into products – ranging from food to fuel, even cosmetics.

The Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, a 42,000-sqaure-foot facility, aims to bridge the gap between academic research and industry. 

“IBRL will enable the development of new technologies,” U of I President Timothy Killeen said at a ribbon cutting for the laboratory on Thursday. “Some of which we can imagine today, some of which we can’t even imagine today, in sustainable and renewable chemicals and fuel for our state.”

In 2007, the state appropriated $3.2 million for planning of the facility. Further funding for construction was awarded in 2014, but construction was halted during the state’s budget impasse.

Speaking at the building’s grand opening Thursday, Gov. Bruce Rauner, said the new research center will help lead industry away from petroleum-based products. 

“Whether it’s in building materials, whether it’s in fuels, whether it’s in chemicals, whether it’s in cosmetics … sustainable renewable bio-based products will be leading the way for the future,” Rauner said. 

Story source: WILL