Aerial View of the BioCentury Research Farm

About the BioCentury Research Farm


Institutional Research Facility of the Year

BioCentury Research Farm was named the 2010 Institutional Research Facility of the Year by Biofuels Digest.

The Iowa State University BioCentury Research Farm is the first-in-the-nation integrated research and demonstration facility dedicated to biomass production and processing. Biomass includes both lignocellulosic crops, crop residues, and grain. It will accelerate innovation and production capacity associated with biobased fuels, chemicals, and products. Collaborations for developing sustainable technologies will provide solutions that pave the way to meet national energy, economic, and environmental directives.

The BioCentury Research Farm is a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences facility.

Key Components

  • Research that brings together scientific expertise to address biomass cropping systems, biofuel and bioproduct processing, logistics of biomass supply, and positive environmental effects such as nutrient recycling back to the land.
  • Facilities for educating future scientists, producers, and extension experts.
  • Outreach that demonstrates economic, social, and environmental viability of biorenewable energy and biobased products production to producers, manufacturers, policy makers, and the public.
  • Partner with companies that will work with Iowa State in collaborative research, development, and demonstration.


Iowa becomes the preferred location for biorefineries using biomass for biofuels and biobased products and Iowa State University becomes “the place” for developing cutting-edge bioeconomy technologies.


Provide unique research, development, demonstration, and technology transfer facilities that enable the integration of biomass production, harvest, storage, and conversion into a complete system while making Iowa State University faculty competitive for extramural funding and internationally recognized as the home of cutting-edge bioeconomy science and engineering.


  • Develop new feedstocks with preferred properties for conversion to biofuels and biobased products.
  • Design and test new agronomic systems for biomass production.
  • Develop advanced harvest, storage, and densification technologies for delivering biomass with optimal properties for conversion to biofuels and biobased products.
  • Develop new biorefining methods using thermochemical, biological, and catalytic chemistry approaches.
  • Encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research, training, and outreach that support development of systems approaches for the biofuels and biobased products industries.
  • Foster commercialization of new technologies and incubate new companies in the biorenewables space in Iowa.