The Des Moines Register reports that two Iowa State University scientists believe algae can help cut costs for hundreds of small Iowa towns that face up to $1 billion to upgrade their wastewater treatment to meet tougher clean water standards. ISU’s Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen have developed a system that uses algae to remove phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater, cleaning water before it’s released into the state’s rivers and streams. The research on the algae system was supported by BEI. Read the article in the Des Moines Register
The article, “Farmers looking at on-farm ethanol plants,” by Nat Williams and published by Illinois Farmer Today, covers farmers working on producing biofuels on their own farms. It describes modular systems being developed by Easy Energy Systems and BEI/Iowa State University to act as “micro biorefineries.” Read more at the Illinois Farmer Today site.
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
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