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William Colonna, CCUR assistant scientist, gives a tour of the CCUR Fermentation Facility.

William Colonna, CCUR assistant scientist, gives a tour of the CCUR Fermentation Facility.

CIRAS hosts tour of CCUR's fermentation capabilities

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) hosted a tour on how to use Iowa State University experts and capabilities in fermentation and downstream processing labs Sept. 12. Participants toured the Center for Crops Utilization Research's Fermentation Facility and the BioCentury Research Farm's Biochemical Processing Train. Twenty-four people from 13 Iowa companies attended the event.

Darren Jarboe, CCUR program manager, gives an overview on how companies can work with Iowa State University to access fermentation resources.
Darren Jarboe, CCUR program manager, gives an overview on how companies can work with Iowa State University to access fermentation resources.

During the workshop, Kevin Keener, CCUR and BCRF director, and Darren Jarboe, CCUR program manager, gave an overview of the CCUR and BCRF and the fermentation resources available to companies including equipment, mixers, separators and dryers. Jarboe also discussed how companies can work with Iowa State to access those resources.

Attendees had the opportunity to meet with CCUR fermentation specialists John Strohl, Fermentation Facility manager, and William Colonna, CCUR assistant scientist. Strohl and Colonna led the tours and talked about the equipment located in each facility. A demonstration using a 5-liter bench-top fermentor gave attendees a close-up look at how the computer-controlled fermentor works.

Brenda Martin and Carey Novak, CIRAS, summarized the financial resources available for Iowa companies to conduct research and development at Iowa State.

"The Iowa companies that visited saw Iowa State's fermentation capabilities and expertise and how they might use them to develop new products and processes or improve current systems, positioning their business to be more competitive," said Keener.

CCUR's Fermentation Facility is designed to develop new fermentation technologies and products and provide bench- and pilot-scale fermentation equipment. It is equipped for scaling up the production of industrially important chemicals, chemical feedstocks, genetically modified organisms and enzymes. 

The Fermentation Facility oversees the CCUR and BCRF systems that turn a variety of biomass feedstocks into ethanol and industrial chemicals by fermentation. Researchers can test new processing systems using benchtop- and small pilot-scale equipment (1- to 115-liter working volumes) before going to large-pilot scale (500- and 1,000-liter working volumes) at the BCRF.

For more information about CCUR'S Fermentation Facility, visit www.ccur.iastate.edu/fermentationfacility.

John Strohl, Fermentation Facility manager, gives a tour of the Biochemical Processing Train at the BioCentury Research Farm.

John Strohl, Fermentation Facility manager, gives a tour of the Biochemical Processing Train at the BioCentury Research Farm.