College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Advancing to a carbon negative economy

Imagine a shift from our current petroleum economy—where carbon is pumped out of the ground to generate energy—toward an economy in which energy and other products are generated while putting carbon back into the ground, ultimately reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air. Iowa State’s Robert C. Brown and a group of …Continue reading “Advancing to a carbon negative economy”

Better biodiesel: ISU graduate students receive grant to continue biochar research

Having a job while in college can be stressful, but creating your own company is a whole other briquette in the fire.For for mechanical engineering grad students Bernardo Del Campo, Juan Proano and Matthew Kieffer, that is their reality. Their company, Artichar, works to sell the bio-renewable product called Biochar, a charcoal-like substance used as a carbon …Continue reading “Better biodiesel: ISU graduate students receive grant to continue biochar research”

Students win grant to develop biochar business

A trio of graduate students affiliated with the Bioeconomy Institute is investigating the use of biochar in water desalination systems, thanks to a $150,000 grant from the SBIR/STTR Programs Office within the U.S. Dept. of Energy. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs encourage small businesses to engage in …Continue reading “Students win grant to develop biochar business”

BEI students introduce biochar to Nicaraguan farmers

Three students affiliated with BEI’s Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies (CSET) built two pyrolyzers in Nicaragua this summer to introduce farmers to the benefits of biochar. Bernardo Del Campo, Juan Proano Aviles, and Matt Kieffer, all graduate students in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, spent two to three weeks near Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in June 2013. …Continue reading “BEI students introduce biochar to Nicaraguan farmers”

Students win awards for sustainability projects

Several engineering students affiliated with the Bioeconomy Institute were among those recognized with Live Green Awards for Excellence in Sustainability at the Symposium for Sustainability held in February at Iowa State University. One award went to a group building biochar systems for emerging economies, while another was given to the “BioBus” team that creates biodiesel for Iowa …Continue reading “Students win awards for sustainability projects”

Biochar is an investment in soil

Bernardo del Campo, graduate research assistant in mechanical engineering, is studying biochar – a substance known for its ability to retain water and enrich soil fertility. He explains how the type of feedstock, process conditions, and peak temperatures the material is exposed to during pyrolysis influences the biochar’s properties and qualities in an Iowa State Daily article.

ISU researchers use biochar to improve soil (updated 7/2)

Engineering researcher Robert Brown has learned firsthand about the promise of biochar as a way to improve soil. Read the full story. Find out more about biochar technology and what researchers are saying about it. Check out details of the biochar conference that took place at Iowa State on June 27-30.

Bioeconomy conference: Agriculture can store carbon, help sustain the planet

AMES, Iowa – Agriculture’s place in producing energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be the center of discussion during Iowa State University’s seventh annual bioeconomy conference. This year’s conference – “Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability” – will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Scheman Building at the Iowa State …Continue reading “Bioeconomy conference: Agriculture can store carbon, help sustain the planet”