October 16, 2018

Duckworth, Durbin Announce $100,000 for Research to Help Reduce Emissions and Support Ethanol Production


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced $100,000 in federal funding today to help researchers find low-cost, sustainable alternatives to diesel fuel engines in the agricultural sector, including replacing half of diesel consumption with ethanol, a cleaner, more affordable alternative. This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, which aims to support research related to scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits.

“This grant funding will help skilled researchers in the Chicagoland area continue making scientific breakthroughs that help our farmers cut costs and mitigate environmental impacts,” said Duckworth. “I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to secure federal resources that help small businesses across the state innovate and stay competitive in the global economy.”

“Today’s USDA funding will help this Illinois small business access new resources to explore alternative and renewable energy technologies that will lead to economic and environmental benefits,” Durbin said. “Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to ensure that Illinois businesses have access to these important federal investments that drive economic growth.”

Clearflame Engines, Inc., in Woodridge will use this grant to explore alternatives to diesel engine operation mainly used in farm equipment. Replacing half of the engine’s diesel consumption with ethanol will reduce engine greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and save diesel users 30 cents for every gallon used. The widespread use of this technology could lead to a higher demand for ethanol fuel and increase profits generated from feedstock crops, ultimately bolstering farmers’ revenue.

Duckworth has been a vocal supporter of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which supports a $5 billion biofuel industry in Illinois that employs more than 4,000 people. She has also joined corn farmers across Illinois in urging the EPA to adopt higher ethanol-based fuel requirements. As part of this announcement, the USDA’s SBIR program also awarded funding to 12 other small businesses across the country working to enhance crop production by developing technologies that increase energy efficiency and profitability while protecting crops in economically and environmentally friendly ways.