A group of university engineers and scientists, including some from Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute, is spreading the word about work being done in bioenergy and its potential to reduce climate impacts linked to fossil fuels, increase the value of agricultural products, revitalize rural communities, bolster national security and curb U.S. reliance on imports.
Called “Midwest Bioenergy Outreach – A Land Grant Initiative” found at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/bioenergy is an ever-expanding collection of short recorded webinars, videos and other resources on topics ranging from plants being studied to create bioenergy such as soybeans, switchgrass and crop residues, to detailed information about ethanol production as well as solar and wind energy. Read the article in Ethanol Producer magazine
Biofuels Digest reported recently on excessive levels of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas in an INEOS Bio plant. As a followup, BEI Director Robert C. Brown explained his research group’s findings on the topic. See the article, Digest feedback may help explain INEOS Bio’s high levels of HCN gas in Biofuels Digest.
Kaige Wang, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University and BEI’s Biorenewable Resources and Technology program, recently traveled to Japan build a prototype high-pressure pyrolysis instrument with Frontier Lab. Wang works with BEI director Robert C. Brown. Read the story at the Iowa EPSCoR Website
In this article from the Sustainable City Network, author Julianne Couch reports that in 2020, the University of Iowa aims to get 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources, including from biomass feedstocks grown locally. To move it toward that goal, the university has developed a set of eight targets ranging from conserving energy to decreasing waste and developing sustainability partnerships. Meanwhile, Iowa State University is making important discoveries as it investigates the use of biorenewable resources as sustainable feedstocks for producing chemicals, fuels, materials and electric power. Read article on the Sustainble City Network Website
BEI’s Robert C. Brown and Tristan Brown co-author a guest editorial in The Gazette of Cedar Rapids. They write, “In the face of criticism about ethanol, delays in the commercialization of advanced biofuels and the recent development of domestic supplies of fracked gas and petroleum, some people are asking, ‘Why are we producing biofuels?’ The answer, quite simply, is that we have few other options for achieving a sustainable energy future.” Read the article in the Feb. 9, 2014 edition of The Gazette