College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Brown responds to National Academy of Sciences report

Robert C. Brown wrote a guest column for the Des Moines Register that was published Oct. 7 in response to a National Academy of Science report.

According to Brown, the report concludes that advanced biofuels made from cellulosic biomass (crop residues, grasses, and wood chips) will not be economically feasible without heavy subsidies or high petroleum prices. Brown says that while the report is correct in concluding that advanced biofuels are not sufficiently developed to immediately make significant contributions to the supply of transportation fuels, the report is flawed in concluding that no biofuel pathway has prospects for standing on its own without heavy government support.

Read the full response.

Brown is an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering, Iowa Farm Bureau director of the Bioeconomy Institute, director of the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, and professor of mechanical engineering, chemical and biological engineering, and agricultural and biosystems engineering.