Funding Opportunity | National Science Foundation Hydrologic Sciences

Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Title: Hydrologic Sciences (HS)
Pre-Proposal/LOI: Not required
Deadline: (ongoing)
Funding range: $250,000 – 1,000,000, (cost-share not allowed)
Topics: The Hydrologic Sciences Program focuses on the fluxes of water in the environment that constitute the water cycle as well as the mass and energy transport function of the water cycle. The Program supports the study of processes from rainfall to runoff to infiltration and streamflow; evaporation and transpiration; the flow of water in soils and aquifers; and the transport of suspended, dissolved, and colloidal components. The Hydrologic Sciences Program retains a strong focus on linking fluxes of water and the components carried by water across boundaries between various interacting facets of the terrestrial system and the mechanisms by which these fluxes co-organize over a variety of timescales and/or alter fundamentals of water cycle interactions within the terrestrial system. The Program is also interested in how water interacts with the landscape and the ecosystem as well as how the water cycle and its coupled processes are altered by land use and climate. Studies may address physical, chemical, and biological processes that are coupled directly to water transport. Projects submitted to Hydrologic Sciences commonly involve expertise from basic sciences, engineering and mathematics; and proposals may require joint review with related programs. The Hydrologic Sciences Program will also consider synthesis projects.

Funding Opportunity | Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)

Sponsor: Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)
Pre-Proposal/LOI: Required
Deadline: January 6  OR June 1 (annually)
Funding range: $15,000 – $500,000, cost-share encouraged, not required
Topics: 1. Waste minimization.
2. Recycling.
3. Waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals or other useful products.  including but is not limited to: Waste-to-energy, Anaerobic digestion, Composting, Other thermal or biological conversion technologies.
4. Strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g. organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management, logistics, etc.).
5. Landfilling.
6. Development of life-cycle/process models to evaluate solid waste (if approved).
7. Evaluating specific applications of pyrolysis/gasification to manage niche/minor waste streams (if approved).
8. Development of specific gasification/pyrolysis techniques or technologies (if approved).
9. Using algae to create biofuels from waste (if approved).

Iowa Biogas Assessment Tool Has New Online Home

An online tool for providing a view of raw materials and economic potential of biogas in Iowa has a new home on the Web at

The Iowa Biogas Assessment Model (IBAM) is an economic analysis tool integrated with a geographical information system (GIS). The tool is made for use by entrepreneurs, policy makers, and the general public.

The goal is to increase awareness of the availability of waste streams, of federal and state incentive programs, and of the economic value of biogas. Mark Mba Wright, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and an affiliate of the Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State, led the university’s portion of the project. “What’s unique about our tool is that it combines mapping data with an economic spreadsheet that makes it very easy to not only capture the facility location but also to get a first approximation of what the cost of that facility might be,” he said.



Here’s how it works: the user picks a location on the map, and selects a collection radius. Based on that site and area, the system estimates the potential biogas resources of the type selected by the user, represented in cubic meters per year. The facility is then sized according to the biogas collected, and its capital and operating costs are estimated. The tool contains more than 20 layers of data for biogas resources, including agriculture residue, feedlots waste/manure, and human activity.

The data on which the system is built is all publicly available, although Wright said the developers added some missing data and combined data to adjust it to improve the estimate of biogas potential. The sources of the data include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, among others.

The tool was originally a collaboration between Iowa State University and EcoEngineers. It was funded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

EcoEngineers is a renewable energy consulting firm, working to help build a clean energy economy on the backbone of the water-energy nexus. EcoEngineers’ in-depth technical and regulatory expertise serves a variety of clients, including producers of biofuels, fuel distributors, grid operators, municipalities, refiners and end-users.  EcoEngineers’ roster of services includes lifecycle carbon analysis and reduction, energy credit certification and transaction management, detailed program (RFS, LCFS, CFP, etc.) compliance management, etc. EcoEngineers’ renewable energy consulting, auditing and compliance management expertise helps clients optimize operations and protect their clean fuel investment. Wherever called to serve, EcoEngineers is committed to clean water, clean air, and clean energy.

Thermal & Catalytic Sciences 2018 Symposium Abstracts Due Apr. 15

[IMAGE]TCS 2018Auburn University is hosting the 2018 edition of the Thermal and Catalytic Sciences Symposium, October 8 – 10, 2018. Called TCS 2018, the event focuses on thermochemical biomass research and development and providing early career scientists and engineers an opportunity to present their research and interact with the senior researchers in the community.

Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) held the first installment of the symposium in 2010 and co-hosted the event in 2014 with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. RTI International hosted the event in 2016.

Topics to be covered at the symposium include biomass gasification and gas clean up, biomass gas to liquid, pyrolysis and upgrading, solvent liquefaction, and sugars via thermal deconstruction of cellulosic biomass. Other areas to be addressed are co-products upgrading and utilization, lignin utilization, biomass preprocessing and pretreatment, and technoeconomic analysis, life cycle analysis and policy analysis.

Abstracts and Registration

For researchers interested in presenting at the symposium, abstracts are due Apr. 15, 2018. Submit an abstract

The event will be held at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. The registration cost is $550 until Aug. 1, 2018; it then rises to $599. Student registration is $350. Register for TCS 2018

The chair of the TCS 2018 technical committee is Sushil Adhikari, an Alumni Professor in the Biosystems Engineering Department at Auburn University. He is also the Director for the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts at Auburn. C0-chairs are Robert C. Brown, BEI Director and Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering at Iowa State; and David C. Dayton, a Fellow and Director of Biofuels at RTI International.

For more information about the symposium, contact Sushil Adhikari, Alumni Professor, Auburn University, 334-844-3543;

Biorenewables Research Poster Symposium 2017

2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday, December 11, 2017
Sukup Atrium

Iowa State undergraduate and graduate students present research posters related to biorenewables.

From the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the Bioeconomy Institute, in collaboration with Dr. Jacqulyn Baughman and Dr. Tom Brumm.

Bioeconomy Institute trading card