Siemens Energy & Automation ( and the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC, announced a partnership designed to help speed the growth of alternative fuel technology. The 10-year agreement between the center and Siemens represents hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, software, and on-site simulation training.

Opened in 2003 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the NCERC aims to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies for producing ethanol more effectively in an effort to improve ethanol yields and reduction in costs. The center also serves as an institution for training personnel to operate and manage bio-fuel refineries.

Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7 distributed control system and instrumentation line is now being used by the NCERC to help validate near-term technologies intended to enhance the economics and sustainability of renewable fuel production. Under terms of the partnership, Siemens will continue to work with NCERC to identify new technological solutions to improve ethanol production processes.