Climate concerns ignite search for next-gen energy

Emily Heaton says clean energy from the 12-foot tall miscanthus she grows at an Iowa State University farm can help cut the carbon that’s warming the planet. “I should be able to start my truck or turn on my lights at home, and it makes the air cleaner,” said Heaton.

New courses in biorenewables leverage Iowa NSF EPSCoR

The Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT) Program at Iowa State University is growing with the help of Iowa NSF EPSCoR support and faculty expertise. The graduate program was the first in biorenewable resources established in the United States. It pulls faculty from 16 academic departments and five colleges for a truly interdisciplinary experience. Iowa NSF … Continue reading New courses in biorenewables leverage Iowa NSF EPSCoR

ExxonMobil supports Iowa State research in biofuels science and engineering

ExxonMobil Corporation is establishing an advanced biofuels research program at Iowa State University. The ExxonMobil Biofuels Program will initially focus on two research projects with Iowa State. The studies are related to the fast pyrolysis of biomass – rapidly heating biomass (including corn stalks, switchgrass or wood chips) without oxygen to produce liquid bio-oil, which can … Continue reading ExxonMobil supports Iowa State research in biofuels science and engineering

Multicultural Learning Community Explores Biorenewables

Nineteen curious undergraduates gathered with five peer mentors in the lobby of the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) at Iowa State University for the annual “BRL Experience” on April 4. This event gives undergraduate students an opportunity to meet bioenergy researchers and graduate students, and tour the BRL engineering research labs. Throughout the visit, the undergraduate … Continue reading Multicultural Learning Community Explores Biorenewables

Iowa State engineers upgrade pilot plant for better studies of advanced biofuels

Lysle Whitmer, giving a quick tour of the technical upgrades to an Iowa State University biofuels pilot plant, pointed to a long series of stainless steel pipes and cylinders. They’re called cyclones, condensers and precipitators, he said, and there’s an art to getting them to work together. The machinery is all about quickly heating biomass … Continue reading Iowa State engineers upgrade pilot plant for better studies of advanced biofuels

Biofuels Digest lists Iowa State faculty and staff in top people in the bioeconomy

Biofuels Digest has named Robert C. Brown, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, of Iowa State’s Bioeconomy Institute the No. 23 person on its 2013-2014 list of top people in the bioeconomy. Larry Johnson of Iowa State’s Center for Crops Utilization Research and BioCentury Research Farm and Brent Shanks, Mike and Jean Steffenson Professor and director … Continue reading Biofuels Digest lists Iowa State faculty and staff in top people in the bioeconomy

CSET Research Featured in Green Chemistry Journal

Kaige Wang, a researcher with the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies (CSET), and Robert C. Brown, CSET and BEI director, are featured with a inside-front cover story in Green Chemistry’s March 2013 issue. Wang and Brown are also affiliated with Iowa State University’s department of mechanical engineering. In the article, “Catalytic pyrolysis of microalgae for production of … Continue reading CSET Research Featured in Green Chemistry Journal

Iowa State researchers produce cheap sugars for sustainable biofuel production

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University’s Robert C. Brown keeps a small vial of brown, sweet-smelling liquid on his office table. “It looks like something you could pour on your pancakes,” he said. “In many respects, it is similar to molasses.” Brown, in fact, calls it “pyrolytic molasses.” That’s because it was produced by the … Continue reading Iowa State researchers produce cheap sugars for sustainable biofuel production

ISU-led group awarded $25 million grant for land use, biofuel production study

AMES, Iowa – Perhaps the three largest issues to face agriculture in this century are the food-versus-fuel debate in biofuel production, water and nutrient runoff, and soil erosion. Now, an Iowa State University-based study over the next five years will examine whether a single, coordinated production system can address all of these concerns while making … Continue reading ISU-led group awarded $25 million grant for land use, biofuel production study

NSF invests $20 million in Iowa’s research

AMES, Iowa – The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million, five-year grant to build Iowa’s research capacity in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Iowa Power Fund, a state program supporting energy innovation and independence, has also granted the project $2 million to pay for research equipment. The core of the research project … Continue reading NSF invests $20 million in Iowa’s research

Iowa State hybrid lab combines technologies to make biorenewable fuels and products

Laura Jarboe pointed to a collection of test tubes in her Iowa State University laboratory. Some of the tubes looked like they were holding very weak coffee. That meant microorganisms – in this case, Shewanella bacteria – were growing and biochemically converting sugars into hydrocarbons, said Jarboe, an Iowa State assistant professor of chemical and … Continue reading Iowa State hybrid lab combines technologies to make biorenewable fuels and products