The expertise of NCAUR scientists has led to numerous biobased industrial products--often through cooperative agreements with private industry.
An early pioneer in this area, NCAUR continues to make significant advances in the conversion of starch- and cellulose-based sugars into ethanol as a cleaner-burning and "home-grown" alternative to petroleum-based fuels.
NCAUR biofuels research also extends to developing new, value-added uses for the coproducts of ethanol production.
Together with its partners, NCAUR is also investigating new procedures for separating out components of the corn kernel itself--including the germ, hull, and endosperm fiber--to obtain residue oil, protein, gum, and useful compounds like ferulic acid, used as an antioxidant in skincare products and as a synthetic vanilla flavoring agent.
On other fronts, NCAUR scientists have developed beneficial yeasts and bacteria to biologically control crop-damaging insects and pathogens, including the potato dry rot fungus Fusarium sambucinum, which inflicts U.
Raper, a new mycologist at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory (NRRL, as NCAUR
was then known), acquired about 2,000 mold cultures from his USDA mentor, Charles Thorn, and Thom's associate, Margaret B.