ME graduate student launches new company

Iowa State mechanical engineering graduate student Andrew Friend has started his own company with the help of Robert Brown, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering, and Bernard Breen, president of Breen Energy Solutions. Based on a newly developed biorenewable fuel pellet, Friend launched Renovo Fuel Technologies, a company he plans to use as a consulting firm that will license the patents for his technology to other companies.

The pellet the group created can be burned in coal-powered plants and is a great trade off due to its similarities to coal’s bulk density and characteristics. Using the pellets would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and they are easily integrated into a widely used power generation process. An additional benefit of Friend’s innovation is that a co-product known as biochar, that results from the production of the pellets, can be used as a fertilizer in soil to take carbon dioxide out of the air.

Since the company and product are fairly new, Friend is working on setting up test burns for the product while simultaneously bringing his company into the public eye.

Read more about Friend’s company and technology in Innovate.

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