SIUE ethanol facility names new research director after national search

April 6, 2017 |

In Illinois, following an extensive national search, the NCERC (National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has announced the hiring of Yan Zhang as the director of research/associate research faculty.

Zhang will provide scientific and technical excellence for all client-and grant-funded research projects at the center’s pilot plant and laboratories.

Zhang started at NCERC in 2003 and has been a lead researcher on projects for groups such as the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture, National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Board, Renewable Fuels Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Grains Council.

In the biofuels industry, Zhang pioneered the field of coproducts research by analyzing DDGS and other ethanol coproducts from a lens of chemical composition. In 2012, Zhang was awarded more than $500,000 in grant-funded and contractual research projects at the center. Afterward, Zhang had a five-year hiatus to be employed as a senior analytical chemist at Mallinckrodt, a biopharmaceutical company in St. Louis.

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