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The Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University is a 2022 Carbon XPRIZE Milestone awardee and leads the nation and world in establishing the bioeconomy, where society obtains renewable fuel, energy, chemicals, and materials from agricultural resources.

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Photo of Lisa Schulte Moore, professor at Iowa State University, standing in a field with a prairie strip and late-season soybeans.

$80 million grant aims to make regenerative farming practice a moneymaker for farmers

Keeping plants continuously growing on farmland through the winter protects and enriches soil, improves water quality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Lisa Schulte Moore, co-director of the Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State, is working to make year-round covered ground a conventional practice.

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Containers with samples of milled biomass, biochar and bio-oils (left to right).. The biomass is converted into the char and oils in the pilot-scale pyrolizer at the Biorenewables Center.

ISU team receives XPRIZE Carbon Removal milestone award for innovative vision to remove carbon from the atmosphere

An Iowa State University research team that helped develop a demonstration-scale pyrolyzer capable of sequestering thousands of tons of carbon dioxide a year has received a prestigious milestone award from XPRIZE Carbon Removal.

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The Spokesman Speaks

Creating Fertilizer from Corn Stover Podcast Featuring Dr. Robert Brown

Since 1934, the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman has been Iowa’s leading agriculture news source, and today it has the largest readership of any ag newspaper in Iowa. Episode 116 of The Spokesman Speaks podcast hosted Dr. Robert Brown, co-director of the Bioeconomy Institute, to discuss a unique initiative to produce renewable energy, fertilizer and more from corn stover, while sequestering carbon.

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Conversations About Carbon

Conversations About Carbon

Join us and bring your lunch (virtually), as we talk with guests each month. We'll talk about all issues and topics related carbon repair and removal.

Did you miss a conversation? Don't worry - past conversations are available to watch later on video.

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Chumki Banik and Santanu Bakshi

Engineers study biochar to fertilize crops, manage manure odors, reduce greenhouse gases

"Heat up stalks, stems, leaves or wood in a reactor with little or no oxygen and you get bio-oil for fuel and biochar for fertilizer. [...] But efforts to study, develop and market the black powder as a fertilizer weren’t adding a lot of value to biochar – at least until there’s a carbon market that will pay a premium for the charcoal’s ability to store carbon."

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Iowa State's Xianglan Bai holds a beaker of shredded, single-use plastics, while graduate students work behind her in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory. Photo credit Christopher Gannon

Researchers team up to break down, upcycle low-quality, rejected plastic wastes

Iowa State University's Xianglan Bai is leading two, $2-million-plus projects that will study and develop new ways to break down waste plastics and convert them to useful materials. The U.S. Department of Energy is supporting both projects.

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