From an economic development award to a new feed processing class, the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm saw a great deal of success and new research activities during 2017. Here are some of our favorite highlights from the past year.
A panel of Iowa entrepreneurs shared their stories about bringing technology to the marketplace during the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm affiliates meeting Nov. 8. CCUR and BCRF hosted three presenters who talked about the innovation process and the challenges they faced in commercializing products.
This fall the BioCentury Research Farm supported two capstone projects. The student teams were allowed to use space, tools and other equipment needed to complete their projects. Also, long-term bale storage studies have begun to determine the effects of outdoor weather conditions on individually wrapped round grass bales, and research on stover bale storage continues at the BCRF.
- CCUR's Fermentation Facility featured in Biofuels Journal
- CCUR and BCRF will exhibit at IRFA Summit
- Keener and Wang visit South China University of Technology
- SAFI-Tech and Gross-Wen Technologies receive IEDA innovation funding
- Gross-Wen Technologies presented at I&E Showcase in Washington, D.C.
- Hendrich retires after 30 years of service
- Grants awarded to CCUR and BCRF affiliates
- CCUR Visitors
Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc. won first place in the 2017 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition, announced Sept. 21. Martin Gross, a postdoctoral research associate in food science and human nutrition, and Zhiyou Wen, professor of food science and human nutrition, founded Gross-Wen Technologies in 2013 after inventing an algal-based treatment process that recovers nutrients from wastewater.
A panel of Iowa entrepreneurs will share their stories about bringing technology to the marketplace at the Iowa State University Center for Crops Utilization Research and BioCentury Research Farm Nov. 8 affiliates meeting. CCUR and BCRF will host three presenters who will talk about the innovation process and the challenges they faced in commercializing products. The event is open to the public.
On Oct. 10, the BioCentury Research Farm hosted 329 students from Ames High School's earth and space science classes. Also, the Bioeconomy Institute published information and a video on their latest breakthrough in thermal deconstruction of biomass into biofuels and biochemicals called autothermal pyrolysis.
Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc. won first place in the 2017 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. SAFI-Tech and Gross-Wen Technologies each won awards at the Iowa SBIR Showcase. SAFI-Tech will be traveling to a number of events this fall to showcase the company's patent-pending technology that solders without using heat. Gross-Wen Technologies was awarded two USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research Program grants.
- Cochran fellows tour CCUR and BCRF
- CCUR and BCRF host groups during the World Food Prize
- There's still time to register for the Better Process Control School
- Koziel receives Publons Peer Review Awards
- Hanna retires after 44 years of service
- CCUR Visitors
This fall, students in TSM 455/555 Feed Processing and Technology gained firsthand experience with feed manufacturing operations including grinding, batching, mixing and pelleting. Nine graduate students and three undergraduate students were able to use the equipment in the Center for Crops Utilization Research's Dry Processing Pilot Plant, which included the roller mill, hammermill, ribbon mixer and pellet mill.
The Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm were awarded the Iowa State University Award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa at the 2017 Iowa State Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony held Sept. 25.
From Algae World News
Columbus Junction could count itself among pioneering cities in the struggle to treat wastewater if the city council approves new technology that favors algae over bacteria. Columbus Junction is considering installing a system developed by Gross-Wen Technologies to treat its wastewater. The patent-pending revolving algal biofilm treatment technology, or RAB, grows micro algae on vertical belts that rotate in and out of the wastewater. During the rotation, nitrogen and phosphorus are transferred from the wastewater to the algae. The algae also takes out ammonia and other contaminants from the wastewater.
Iowa State University's Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) will offer a Better Process Control School Nov. 13-16. The school certifies supervisors of thermal processing systems, acidification and container closure evaluation programs for low-acid and acidified foods in closed containers.
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.
CCUR was contracted by a Midwest food processor to test the centrifugation treatments on their feed material, an ultra-high temperature pasteurization project was carried out for an Iowa company that conducts research on nutritional supplements, and the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute used a crusher destemmer in the wet processing pilot plant to process La Crescent grapes prior to fermentation.
Iowa State University is a partner institution in a new, $104 million research center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. BCRF affiliate Emily Heaton will be a project researcher for the center. 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. Emily Martin, ISU graduate student, gave an update on her bioreactors project. The BCRF provided her with biomass.
CCUR's industry incubator occupant Ideopak will be participating in the third Iowa State University Startup Factory cohort. This summer the ISU Startup Factory graduated its first round of startup companies which included industry occupants Gross-Wen Technologies and SAFI-Tech.
CIRAS and the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative (IGQI), have hired a food and feed safety and compliance specialist to provide individualized assistance beyond the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training classes. Also, the IGQI is partnering with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa (AAI) to offer a week-long course in advanced grain elevator operations management.
- Iowa State's Industrial Playground
- Food science professor comments on cadmium pollution risk study
- First round of Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Program a success
- Grants awarded to CCUR and BCRF affiliates
From College of Agriculture STORIES
The Center for Crops Utilization Research, along with the BioCentury Research Farm, provide companies from around the world access to processing and production systems to help take their ideas to the next level. Tucked in the Food Sciences Building on the Iowa State University campus, the center offers equipment ranging from lab to pilot plant to pre-commercial scales. It could be considered one of Iowa State’s hidden treasures.
Gross-Wen Technologies has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The 8-month Phase I grant, totaling $100,000, will be used to study the potential of producing an alternative source of bioavailable selenium from microalgae biomass. The Iowa Innovation Corporation Matching Financial Assistance Program is providing a $25,000 matching grant to augment the USDA SBIR award.
Four new research projects were carried out in the pilot plants: the high-pressure homogenizer was used to produce multiple oil emulsions, several batches of corn meal were produced using the grinding mill, the pilot-scale colloid mill was used to treat liquid egg yolk, and two gallons of Procream were produced using the spray dryer.
The Plant Zoo demonstration plots have been planted, two BCRF faculty affiliates join a new carbon economy consortium, and an overview of the solvent liquefaction pilot plant is now available online.
From America's SBDC Iowa
How would you feel if you created a product that could change the reality of hundreds of thousands of individuals? Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen did precisely that. As a graduate student at Iowa State University, Martin and his professor Dr. Wen invented a sustainable water treatment system that utilizes algae to remove pollutants in waste water. The byproduct resulting from their system is to be sold as a sustainable fertilizer. After inventing the technology in 2012, Martin and Zhiyou founded Gross-Wen Technologies in March 2013.
Iowa Grain Quality Initiative (IGQI) is embarking on a project in Rwanda assessing the impact of mycotoxins – toxic chemicals produced by fungi found in food crops. The program will sample and test animal feed grains in Rwanda and is slated to begin mid-March.