BEI Takes Busload to Showcase Thermochemical Research

[LOLGO]tcbiomass2015The Bioeconomy Institute is taking a bus with over 30 Iowa State University students, researchers, faculty, and staff to tcbiomass 2015, an international conference on thermochemical biomass conversion science being held this week in Chicago, IL. The program features four Iowa State researchers as speakers and over 20 as poster presenters. Iowa State is expected to have the largest presence of any university at tcbiomass2015, demonstrating its leadership in field.

The event is bringing together the world’s experts in biomass gasification, pretreatment, pyrolysis, and upgrading to explore progress in the bioeconomy. Some 22 countries are represented among attendees.

[PHOTO]Robert C. BrownThe host of the conference, the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), has announced that BEI Director Robert C. Brown will be presented with the 2015 Don Klass Award for Excellence in Thermochemical Conversion Science on Nov. 3 at the event. This award recognizes Dr. Brown as a leader whose career has shaped the agenda of thermochemical biomass conversion, made substantial technical contributions, and mentored many young scientists and engineers in the field.

The award is a tribute to the notable Dr. Donald L. Klass, who was president and one of the original founders of the Biomass Energy Research Association (BERA). For more about Brown’s award, read the article on at GTI’s Website.

Update: BEI/Iowa State student Joseph Polin wins second place in tcbiomass 2015 student poster competition.

Talking about Thermochemical Conversion

[PHOTO]Iowa State at tcbiomass2015The Iowa State speakers at the conference are Marjorie Rover, a thermochemical research scientist at BEI, Xianglan Bai, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, along with Rajeeva Thilakartne and Chloe Dedic, both graduate students in mechanical engineering.

A contingent of Iowa State University faculty, scientists, and students participated in tcbiomass 2015, highlighting the university’s research in the field of thermochemical conversion of biomass. 

Iowa State will also be represented by 22 poster presenters at the conference, covering pyrolysis, gasification, and upgrading/pretreatment of biomass. Presenters include BEI staff researchers Preston Gable, Patrick Johnston, Patrick Hall, Ashokkumar Sharma, and Shuai Zhou as well as Rover. Iowa State faculty presenting posters are Young-Jin Lee, chemistry, and Song-Charng Kong, mechanical engineering. See all of the BEI posters.

Also presenting are mechanical engineering graduate students Soroush Aramideh, Bernardo Del Campo, Martin Haverly, Wenqi li, Arian Jafari, Jake K. Lindstrom, Longwen Ou, Yaoyu Pan, Joseph Polin, Juan Proano Aviles, and Yuan Xue; chemical and biological engineering graduate students Sanaz Abdolmohammadi, and Arpa Ghosh; and economics graduate student Ryan Goodrich. Robert Brown was also on the advisory committee that selected presentations for the conference and will chair a session on pyrolysis.

[BANNER]Thermochemical ProcessingBEI is a sponsor and exhibitor at the conference as well. Its display will highlight BEI’s thermochemical research capabilities as well as its new thrust into modular manufacturing of thermochemical conversion systems. The new BEI Virtual Tour 2015 video, which provides an overview of many thermochemical research projects at BEI, will have its premiere showing at the conference.

The conference has posted a video of conference highlights. It can be viewed on the tcbiomass 2015 site.

 

The Bioeconomy Institute will be highlighting its leading thermochemical processing research at the international tcbiomass2015 conference this week.

BEI Hits the Road to Learn about Modular Manufacturing

A delegation from the Bioeconomy Institute and other organizations took to the road this summer to learn more about modular manufacturing. The team visited Roeslein & Associates, Inc. of St. Louis, a leader in engineering, modular fabrication, and construction of industrial plant facilities.

[PHOTO]BEI Roeslein tourJohn Demoulin (center), director of sales and marketing at Roeslein & Associates Inc., (center) leads a BEI team on a plant tour to explore modular manufacturing and its application to biomass processing.

The visit was part of BEI’s new initiative to study modular chemical processing systems and their potential to economically produce fuels and chemicals. These mass produced systems would be ideal for stranded and dispersed energy and carbon resources, such as widely distributed biomass or fossil fuels that are currently uneconomical to process and transport.

Modular Manufacturing for Bioprocessing

At the meeting, CEO Rudi Roeslein and his team described modularization, unitization, prefabrication, and other related concepts and what they’ve come to mean at the company. They also gave an overview of some the company’s modularization projects. The meeting included discussions of the future challenges of modular manufacturing and a tour of Roeslein’s plant, led by John Demoulin, director of sales and marketing.

The vist came on the heels of the “Energy Manufacturing Workshop 2015” workshop held by BEI in Denver in May 2015. This national event brought together representatives from research, industry, and government to explore the topic. For more information about modular manufacturing, including a report from the workshop, see Modular Manufacturing for Bioprocessing for more information.

The BEI team included director Robert C. Brown, deputy directors Jill Euken and Ryan Smith, scientists Lysle Whitmer and Andrew Friend, and director of  graduate education for the BRT program Jacqulyn Baughman. Also attending was BEI associate and assistant professor of mechanical engineering Mark Wright. Participants from other organizations included Igor Slowing, Ames Laboratory;  Charles Freeman, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Dane Boysen, Gas Technology Institute.

BEI, Iowa State to Study Carbon Negative Energy

Researchers from Iowa State University and the Bioeconomy Institute have been awarded nearly $2 million to study production of biochar for use as a soil amendment that stores carbon underground instead of allowing carbon dioxide to re-enter the atmosphere as plants decompose. The award is from the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) based at Stanford University.

[PHOTO]BiocharIowa State and BEI researchers are studying how carbon-rich biochar can be used as a soil amendment to remove atmospheric
carbon dioxide.

The project will investigate the pyrolysis-bioenergy-biochar pathway to carbon-negative energy. Heating plant material slowly without oxygen – a process called pyrolysis – produces the biochar, a carbon-rich material, and bio-oil, which can be processed into fuels and chemicals. The Iowa State investigators are David Laird, a professor of agronomy; Bruce Babcock, the Cargill Chair of Energy Economics; Robert Brown, BEI director and Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering; Dermot Hayes, a professor of economics; Fernando Miguez, assistant professor of agronomy; Sotirios Archontoulis, assistant professor of agronomy. Also on the team is David Zilberman, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley..

Groundwork for the project was laid by Iowa State’s Initiative for a Carbon Negative Economy, which was supported by the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Research Initiatives. Learn more about the ICNE and the GCEP project in the article, Advancing to a carbon negative economy, on the College of Engineering Website.

The biochar project is among six recent GCEP grants. GCEP is an industry partnership that supports innovative research on energy technologies to address the challenge of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project includes five corporate sponsors: ExxonMobil, GE, Schlumberger, DuPont, and Bank of America.

BEI, Iowa State to Make Splash at tcbiomass2015

[LOLGO]tcbiomass2015Iowa State University is expected to have the largest presence of any university at tcbiomass2015, the fourth international conference on thermochemical biomass conversion science. The preliminary program features four Iowa State researchers as speakers and over 20 as poster presenters. The event is Nov. 2-5, 2015, in Chicago.

The speakers are Marjorie Rover, a thermochemical research scientist at BEI, Xianglan Bai, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, along with Rajeeva Thilakartne and Chloe Dedic, both graduate students in mechanical engineering.

Iowa State will also be represented by 22 poster presenters at the conference, covering pyrolysis, gasification, and upgrading/pretreatment of biomass. Presenters include BEI staff researchers Preston Gable, Patrick Johnston, Patrick Hall, Ashokkumar Sharma, and Shuai Zhou as well as Rover. Iowa State faculty presenting posters are Young-Jin Lee, chemistry, and Song-Charng Kong, mechanical engineering.

Also presenting are mechanical engineering graduate students Soroush Aramideh, Bernardo Del Campo, Martin Haverly, Wenqi li, Arian Jafari, Jake K. Lindstrom, Longwen Ou, Yaoyu Pan, Joseph Polin, Juan Proano Aviles, and Yuan Xue; chemical and biological engineering graduate students Sanaz Abdolmohammadi, and Arpa Ghosh; and economics graduate student Ryan Goodrich.

BEI Director Robert C. Brown, who was on the advisory committee that selected presentations, will also chair a session on pyrolysis. BEI is a sponsor and will have an exhibit at the conference.

Technology for the Bioeconomy

The conference is expected to attract over 300 attendees from around the world. It brings together experts in biomass pretreatment, gasification, pyrolysis, and upgrading. The theme for this year’s event is “Technology for the Bioeconomy.” It will cover developments in thethermochemical conversion of renewable resources into a variety of fuels, chemicals and energy products, which is driving the emergence of an increasingly diverse and significant bioeconomy. Thermochemical processes employing heat and pressure extract maximum product yields from biomass resources.



Bioeconomy Institute trading card