New Research Lab

IMEG provided engineering services for the conversion of a pre-pi-lot processing research facility into the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) at the University of Illinois. The IBRL is a state-of-the art pilot-scale facility used by faculty and researchers to improve efficiencies, reduce water usage, and increase biofuel production in the corn ethanol industry. Researchers are also developing and improving technologies for next-generation biofuels and value-added products derived from biomass.

The laboratory, served by campus steam and chilled water, has the capacity to support research at each step in the bioenergy value chain: Deconstruction, fermentation, thermochemical processes, analysis, co-product evaluation and optimization, and fermenter.

The Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory has wet mill and dry mill equipment, in addition to a 100-liter fermenter, Parr reac-tor, nitrogen analyzer, spectrophotometer, hammermill, and small fermenters. Other spaces include teaching classrooms, administrative offices, and analysis laboratories.

The pilot projects developed in the lab could require an infinite number of utility needs, so IMEG incorporated a modular arrange-ment of numerous service offerings to allow for a multitude of tests and changing of tests.

Additionally, each bay must allow for autonomous testing with-out interfering with adjacent research. IMEG provided dedicated utilities and separation of airflow and exhaust to prevent carryover into adjacent bays.

IMEG also provided culinary steam, specialty gas, DI/RO water, compressed air, vacuum and process cooling, and dust collection systems.

This project is certified LEED Silver. Sustainable features include heat recovery, low-flow fixtures, white roof, and high R-value walls.

University of Illinois
Champaign, IL
42,000-sf Renovation
Services Provided

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Technology, Energy Modeling