College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Bioeconomy Institute director says creating new products ‘never is quick’

Robert Brown, director of Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute, is asked frequently these days when the next generation of biofuels will flow through gas pumps and into automobile tanks.

His reply: “You tell me the price of oil.”

Brown’s reply seems like a wiseacre comeback, but it reflects the pressure commodity markets and politics exert on the science of energy.

Brown spends a lot of time in Washington, D.C., talking up biofuels to federal bureaucrats and politicians. He’s become wise to the ways of the politics of energy.

Brown leads the efforts to make Iowa a global center of biofuels research. He juggles the thin patience of politicians and the public about the long time line of research, while keeping options open to remain a player wherever the research and market forces lead.

Read the full article from the Des Moines Register’s Juice.