Biofuels Digest | Chevron’s forgotten biofuels wonder-tech gets a second life at Iowa State

Biofuels Digest covers the solvent liquefaction system installed by BEI and operating at Iowa State’s BioCentury Research Farm in a joint project with Chevron. Still at pilot stage, the system converts biomass such as quarter-inch wood chips into a bio-oil that can be processed into fuels or chemicals and a biochar that can enrich soils. Read the article in Biofuels Digest

Seminar | Aspects of process development for synthetic fuels and chemicals production

Sept. 26, 2016, 4:10 p.m.
1306 Elings Hall
Refreshments served

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is developing innovative key processes for the sustainable use of biomass. A highlight is the bioliq® project to convert lignocellulosic biomass into synthetic fuels and chemicals. At KIT, a pilot plant over the entire process chain has been built, which is operated in full since 2014. The multi-stage process consisting of fast pyrolysis to convert biomass into energy dense, liquid like intermediates, high pressure entrained flow gasification to produce tar free syngas with low methane content, high temperature gas cleaning and  conditioning, finished by one-step dimethylether synthesis followed by gasoline production.

Pilot plant operation is supported and accompanied by a strong R&D network providing numerous links to other of process or product options, which can be integrated in advanced biomass utilization concepts. Involved in the bioliq process as well as in other topics related to biomass conversion, high temperature processes and catalysis the KIT scientist will present on biomass liquefaction by pyrolysis as well as by solvo- and hydrothermal processes (Nicolaus Dahmen), increase of efficiency in high temperature process chains at the example of gas cleaning and conditioning (Dieter Stapf), and on the production of oxygenate fuels from biomass-derived synthesis gas (Jörg Sauer).

[PHOTO]Jorg SauerJorg Sauer is a professor of the Chemical Engineering faculty and head of the Institute of Catalysis Research & Technology at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

[PHOTO]Dieter StapfDieter Stapf is a full professor of High Temperature Process Technologies and head of the Institute of Technical Chemistry at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

[PHOTO]Nicholaus DahmenNicholaus Dahmen is leading scientist and professor of Conversion of Renewable Resources at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Des Moines Register | Biofuels are worse than gasoline? Creative accounting leads to claim

In this article in the Des Moines Register, BEI’s Robert C. Brown writes, “Biofuels is getting renewed attention in the press these days, although in a manner that leaves experts in the field nonplussed. News headlines regularly announce that ‘biofuels are worse than gasoline.’ How can this be? We signed up to develop biofuels for its prospect to be ‘better than gasoline.’ Indeed, for the last decade I have counseled my students that renewable fuels are not inherently better than fossil fuels; it depends on how we grow and process biomass crops and use the resulting fuels. And yet the mantra of “biofuels is worse than gasoline” just doesn’t ring true. How is it worse than gasoline?” Read the article on the Des Moines Register Website

Seminar Series | Breaking into Industry Sponsored Research: Strategies from Faculty Champions and Tips for Success

Iowa State University’s Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (OIPTT) has developed a series of seven sessions to be presented during the 2016-2017 academic year. The series, Breaking into Industry Sponsored Research: Strategies from Faculty Champions and Tips for Success, features faculty with a track record of partnering with industry sponsors to generate research funding. It is aimed at Iowa State faculty and graduate students.

Memorial Union, 12:00-1:30 p.m., lunch provided

Attend one or all seven sessions!
For questions, contact:, 515-294-4740

Sept. 8 Finding Industry Partners with Chris Williams
Oct. 12 Protecting Your Research Data When Engaging Industry Collaborators with Balaji Narasimhan
Nov. 11 How Sylvia Cianzio Balances a Diverse Research Portfolio
Dec. 8 How Bryony Bonning Develops Successful Budgets and Proposals from Industry Sponsors
Feb. 7 How Alison Robertson Uses Field Trials and Commodity Agreements in Her Research Portfolio
Mar. 7 How Matt Darr Successfully Selects Amongst the Flexible Solutions for Sponsored Project Agreements
Apr. 11 How ISU Protects Intellectual Property with Jim Oliver

BEI’s Euken Wins Environmental Farm Award

Jill Euken, BEI deputy director, and her family were presented the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award at the Iowa State Fair in August 2016. The award is a joint effort of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources to recognize the exemplary voluntary efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality.

[PHOTO]Jill and Randy Euken receive Iowa Farm Environmental Award

Jill and Randy Euken (center) receive the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award from Chuck Gipp, Department of Natural Resources Director and Governor Terry Brandstad (left); and Kim Reynolds, Iowa Lt. Governor, and Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture (right).

The Euken farm is located in Cass County, Iowa, and consists of 2,000 acres cropland, 350 acres pasture, and 150 acres alfalfa. In addition to growing corn, soybeans, and alfalfa, the Euken’s raise cows and run a beef feedlot. The farm has been designated as an Iowa Century Farm, having been in the family for 104 years.

Improving Natural Resources

The award recognizes farmers that have taken steps in their farming operations that improve or protect the environment and natural resources of our state while also serving as local leaders to encourage other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success. The Euken farm has implemented a number of practices toward this end, including conversion of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land to pasture, no-till/minimum till, conservation tillage, and contour farming.

The Eukens also practice precision variable rate fertilizer application and seeding, do soil testing, and have established grassed waterways on sloped fields. They’ve added buffer strips of permanent vegetation along streams to intercept pollutants and reduce run-off. The farm also participates in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which includes interseeding of legumes, controlled release nitrogen, and application of nutrients no more than 30 days prior to planting.

“We incorporated these practices to improve soil tilth, reduce soil erosion and eliminate nutrient run-off.  We like to use perennials (alfalfa and pasture) on highly erodible land,” Jill Euken said.


Bioeconomy Institute trading card