Governors’ Biofuels Coalition Donates to BEI Grad Scholarships

The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition has donated $1,000 to the Bioeconomy Institute Excellence Fund in Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s name. The donation will help fund scholarships for graduate students studying biorenewables at Iowa State University.

[PHOTO]Martin Haverly, Governor Terry Branstad, and Jake LindstromIt was made possible by the proceeds from a breakfast honoring Branstad held by the Coalition in summer 2016. The Coalition, with members from more than 20 states, provides regional and national leadership on biofuels policy development.

Jake Lindstrom (left) and Martin Haverly (right), both graduate students at Iowa State University studying at BEI, attended the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition breakfast held in honor of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (center).

ME Grad Student Gets Double Win with Research Poster

Jake Lindstrom, Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, has recently won two awards for his research poster on thermal deconstruction of biomass to increase monosaccharide yields. He won the best student poster award conference at TCS 2016, marking the third straight time an Iowa State student has placed in this prestigious competition. TCS 2016, the Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products, was held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Nov. 1-3, 2016.

[PHOTO]Jake Lindstrom with TCS 2016 poster and awardJake Lindstrom, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Iowa State, is shown with his winning poster at TCS 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Lindstrom also won first place in the poster competition at the Frontiers in Biorefining conference  two weeks later, in St. Simons Island, Georgia. “This second award is a particularly big win for a poster on thermochemical processing since this conference  mostly attracts biological processing experts,” said Robert C. Brown, director of the Bioeconomy Institute and the Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering at Iowa State. He serves as Lindstrom’s advisor.

Lindstrom’s poster, entitled “Thermal Deconstruction of Red Oak with Subsequent Hydrolysis to Fermentable Monosaccharides,” was co-authored by Brown and Preston Gable, an engineer at BEI.  He received a cash prize of $1,000 for his TCS 2016 award and $500 for his Frontiers in Biorefining win. You can view a PDF of Lindstrom’s poster as well as a list and PDFs of all BEI posters exhibited at TCS 2016. A number of BEI/Iowa State faculty, scientists, and students attended the conference.

Lindstrom is studying mechanisms and rates of fast pyrolysis but has recently been working on exploiting these thermochemical mechanisms to produce sugars from biomass. He’s from Pacifica, Calif., and earned his B.A. in chemistry from Grinnell College in Iowa.

BEI, Iowa State, Heat Up TCS2016

[LOGO]TCS 2016Faculty, scientists, and students from the Bioeconomy Institute and Iowa State University are descending on Raleigh, North Carolina, Nov. 1-3 at the Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products. Over a dozen BEI and Iowa State representatives will attend, while a number are presenting papers and posters as well.

Known as TCS, the symposium has been held every other year following the first symposium held in 2010 at Iowa State University, with the goal of focusing 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. The 2016 symposium will spotlight recent technical advances in thermochemical biomass conversion to biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower.

BEI Director Robert C. Brown will chair a plenary session at the event, while assistant professor of mechanical engineering Mark Mba Wright is chairing a session on techno-economic analysis. BEI will also be exhibiting, including showing its 3600 images to immerse attendees in some of its facilities and biomass test plots.

The presenters from Iowa State and their topics include:

Joseph P. Polin, graduate student in mechanical engineering: Process Intensification of a Fluidized Bed Pyrolyzer via Autothermal Operation

Wenqin Li, graduate student in mechanical engineering: Techno-economic (TEA) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the Pyrolysis-Bioenergy-Biochar Pathway for Carbon-Negative Energy

Fenglei Qi, graduate student in mechanical engineering: Thermal DEM Simulation of Particle Heat Transfer in a Lab-Scale Double Screw Reactor

Young-Jin Lee, associate professor of chemistry: Thin-Film Fast Pyrolysis of Isotopically Labeled Glucose for the Analysis of Primary Reaction Pathway

Taylor Schulz, BEI postdoc research associate: Continuous Pilot-Scale Loblolly Pine Liquefaction to a Partially Deoxygenated Bio-Oil

Patrick Hall, BEI research associate, Purification of Pyrolytic Sugar from Bio-Oil Fractions

Arpa Ghosh, graduate student in chemical and biological engineering: Production of Soluble and Hydrolyzable Carbohydrates from Biomass Using THF/Water Co-solvent in the Presence of Acid Catalyst

Iowa State students will also present a number of posters at TCS 2016.

Update: ME Grad Student Gets Double Win with Research Poster

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.


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