ME professor helps journal highlight how pyrolysis can advance the bioeconomy

Iowa State engineers test taller wind turbine towers made from precast concrete

AMES, Iowa – Hydraulic equipment in two civil engineering labs recently pushed and pulled at test sections of a new kind of wind turbine tower, simulating the heavy, twisting loads that towers have to withstand.

Iowa EPSCoR builds state’s research capacity in renewable energy and energy use

Iowa’s three Regents universities are making faculty hires, launching studies, partnering with community colleges and building industry partnerships – all in a $22 million effort to boost the state’s research capacity in renewable energy and energy utilization. The benefits to Iowa could be many: research grants, new technologies, startup companies, educational opportunities and workforce improvements [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State engineers establish national panel to advance a carbon negative economy

A national panel led by Iowa State University engineers is launching an effort to research and develop technologies that capture, use and sequester carbon while enhancing food production, ecosystems, economic development and national security. The 33-member National Panel for a Carbon Negative Economy recently met for the first time in Chicago. Participants represented universities, companies, federal agencies [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State’s role in the future of biofuels

Prototypes of the biofuels refinery of the future sit in a 19,000-square-foot complex on the Iowa State Research Farm west of Ames. Two experimental plants, whose network of pipes and containers looks to the lay person like a microbrewery on steroids, produce oil from biomass such as corn stover, switchgrass, miscanthus, wood chips and algae.

Heising remains a supporter of nuclear energy

Public debate and bureaucracy are bogging down the development of nuclear energy and putting the United States at a disadvantage compared with other countries, an Iowa State University professor and nuclear energy expert says. IMSE Professor Carolyn Heising was practically raised at the knee of the development of the nuclear U.S. Navy. Her father was [Continue Reading…]

New wind energy research opportunity for undergraduates

As wind energy becomes an increasingly promising renewable energy source, research in the area continues to pick up at Iowa State. Undergraduate students interested in the growing field now have a way to get more involved through the newly established Wind Energy Science, Engineering, and Policy (WESEP) program. WESEP is a National Science Foundation (NSF) [Continue Reading…]

Chaudhary’s quest to improve organic solar cell efficiency gains traction with new approach and funding

An engineering professor’s plan to introduce ferroelectrics into the organic layers used to fabricate polymer solar cells may be the ingredient that could make the technology available to consumers in the very near future. Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Sumit Chaudhary says ferroelectric materials, which act like dipoles with a positive and negative [Continue Reading…]

Diagnostics at the heart of clean energy technologies

Understanding the details of non-equilibrium gas-phase chemistry in novel combustion and plasma systems is important for meeting current and future challenges in clean energy technologies. Terry Meyer, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is planning to study these details with a new laser diagnostic tool that has the potential to extract key information under reacting [Continue Reading…]

Brown weighs in on ethanol plant debate

In an Iowa State Daily article that discusses the possibility of a new DuPont and Danisco cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa, Robert Brown explains the difference in ethanol production processes. “What we call corn ethanol is produced from the corn grain, which is a starch material,” Brown said. “That is how we currently produce it [Continue Reading…]

MSE professor investigates complex metal hydride potential for hydrogen storage

The dream of developing a mass-marketable hydrogen-powered vehicle has eluded automotive designers for decades. But the work of Vitalij Pecharsky, senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, may someday make it a reality. Since 2005, Pecharsky, also a distinguished professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State, has been researching hydrogen-rich [Continue Reading…]

Chaudhary fabricates more efficient polymer solar cells

Researchers from Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory have developed a process capable of producing a thin and uniform light-absorbing layer on textured substrates that improves the efficiency of polymer solar cells by increasing light absorption. “Our technology efficiently utilizes the light trapping scheme,” said Sumit Chaudhary, an Iowa State assistant professor of electrical [Continue Reading…]