Skip to main content

Home

Sunny field

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.

More about BEI

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.

Get the scoop

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.

Full story

Tannon Daugaard, an engineer at the Bioeconomy Institute, with the pilot-scale pyrolyzer at the Biorenewables Center. Pyrolysis turns biomass from grasses and crop residue into usable products such as biochar and bio-oil.

Innovation at Work: Breaking ground on next-generation agricultural markets

Iowa soil is good at growing crops. In fact, it’s probably the best agricultural soil in the world. And, while Iowa’s farmland has proven itself to be a powerhouse for producing cash crops like corn and soybeans, Iowa State University scientists are dreaming up innovative ways to grow new value, new markets and new revenue streams from Iowa soils.

Learn more

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.

Join the conversation

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."

Read full article

Diagram from the article

The Role of Pyrolysis and Gasification in a Carbon Negative Economy

Abstract: The International Panel on Climate Change and the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris have recommended that efforts to reduce carbon emissions be coupled with carbon removal from the atmosphere. Carbon negative energy combines net carbon removal with the production of energy products or other revenue-generating products beyond sequestered carbon…

Access full paper