The Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Bioenergy Modeling Center in Research Park employs student interns to perform computational work, conceptual engineering, and modeling to evaluate the feasibility of manufacturing specialty chemicals.
One such chemical is glycol, which is made from glycerin (a by-product of bio-diesel). Due to its solvent, moisturizing, and cooling properties, glycol is used in a number of consumer products, ranging from paints and household cleaning agents, to cosmetics and medicines, to automobile radiators.
ADM hires interns who are majoring in Agricultural Sciences, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry. The Center has been open since late 2007, but the relationship between ADM and the University of Illinois has been long-standing.
That partnership was strengthened in January 2011 when the company founded the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss with a $10M grant to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The global institute will focus on eliminating the global problem of food waste by working with smallholder farmers in the developing world to help preserve millions of metric tons of grains and oilseeds lost each year to pests, disease, mishandling, and other factors.
The ADM Center in Research Park is used as a part-time home base for ADM employees that work in groups, including feed, IT, and fermentation, since they often visit to interact with various units and operations within the University.