BioCentury Research Farm Update
Iowa State named a partner in new Department of Energy bioenergy research center
Original article by Annette Hacker, Iowa State University News Service
Iowa State University is a partner institution in a new, $104 million research center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the project will study the next generation of plant-based, sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts. The DOE grant will form the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, one of only four in the nation. The center will be a collaboration between Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. BioCentury Research Farm (BCRF) affiliate Emily Heaton, associate professor of agronomy, will be a project researcher for the center. Read more.
USDA NIFA SBIR National Program Leader visits BCRF and Gross-Wen Technologies
On Aug. 2, Charles Cleland, the national program leader for the UDSA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, visited and toured the BCRF. He also visited with Martin Gross, co-founder and CEO of Gross-Wen Technologies (GWT). GWT has been the recipient of two phase 1 and one phase 2 USDA NIFA SBIR grants. The next day Cleland presented at the USDA NIFA SBIR R&D funding event sponsored by the Iowa Innovation Corporation.
Summer Update from the IWC Graduate Student Research Grant Program: Emily Martin
Original article posted by the Iowa Water Center
In a recent Iowa Water Center blog post, Emily Martin, graduate student in agricultural and biosystems engineering, gave an update on her project titled, “Enhancing phosphate removal in woodchip bioreactors.” The goal of the project was to evaluate the ability of woodchip bioreactors to remove phosphorous by adding biochar as a phosphate (P) amendment to bioreactors. Objectives of the study were to assess the effectiveness of different amendments on P removal in bioreactors and to analyze the effect of influent P on overall removal. For the project, Martin used six different types of biomass: switchgrass, corn stover, and ash, red oak, mixed pine, and loblolly pine trees. The BCRF and the City of Ames provided her the biomass. Martin's project was funded by the Iowa Water Center Graduate Student Supplemental Research Competition. Read more.
Research activities at the BCRF
Below is a list of completed or ongoing research projects happening at the BCRF:
- machinery testing and residue collection research will continue this fall
- various biomass feedstocks were ground and used in the pyrolysis unit
- multiple pyrolysis tests were completed
- testing in the solvent liquefaction pilot plant has concluded
- several fermentation projects for industry clients were conducted
- work continues in the Bio-Polymer Processing Facility
Visitors tour BCRF
The BCRF had the following visitors: Agriculture and business delegation, The Republic of Kazakhstan; Agronomy 594 class; Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators; BioPro Power; CBiRC Summer Academy; Charles Cleland, national program leader for the UDSA NIFA SBIR program; Cultivation Corridor; Grain Processing Corporation; Iowa Innovation Corp.; Iowa Renewable Fuels Biofuels, Science and Sustainability Tour; Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Larta Institute; Monsanto; National Institute of Agriculture Technology (INTA), Argentina; Queensland Australia State Department and Trade Office; and Synthesis Venture Fund Partners; U.S. congressional aides and federal agency staff.