Affiliated Iowa State University Facilities

Biomass Energy Conversion Facility

The Iowa Energy Center Biomass Energy Conversion facility (BECON) offers opportunities for larger pilot-scale research, demonstration and training as well as support for the commercialization of biobased technologies. BECON offers:

  • Business incubator/office space
  • Biodiesel production (400,000 gallons/year)
  • Highbay processing space
  • Dry storage
  • Wet lab with fume hoods
  • Thermal gasification (500 pounds/hour)
  • Anaerobic digestion (1,500 and 6,000 gallons)
  • Supercritical fluid units(batch and continuous)
  • City utilities, compressed air, chilled water, N2, O2

Biorenewables Research Laboratory

The Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) is a new $32 million research and teaching laboratory building that offers bench-scale biomass research facilities for fuels, chemicals and energy. BRL facilities are available for:

  • Thermochemical conversion of biomass
  • Biological and chemical catalysis
  • Syngas fermentation
  • Biomass and bio-oil analysis
  • Biochar characterization

Center for Biorenewable Chemicals

The Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) is developing the tools, components, and materials needed to transform carbohydrate feedstocks into biobased chemicals. Through its Industrial Collaboration and Innovation Program the center aims to develop long-term relationships with its industry members. The objective of the Industrial Collaboration and Innovation Program is to build and sustain an active collaboration between CBiRC’s academic partners and its innovation and industry members. The Program provides a rich resource of knowledge and practical experience that will deliver fundamental scientific discovery and innovation to its members.


Center for Crops Utilization Research

The Center for Crops Utilization Research offers a variety of small pilot-scale biofuels, biobased products, feed and food processing research capabilities in:

  • Wet and dry processing
  • Industrial products processing
  • Hazardous solvents extraction
  • Process development
  • Fermentation facility (rated BL2) (up to 100 liters)
  • Antimicrobial and prebiotic properties testing
  • Test kitchen and sensory facilities
  • Business incubator

Center for Industrial Research and Service

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) bioindustry team can help businesses and communities develop, market, and use agricultural crops for the production of biobased products and energy. CIRAS staff can provide assistance by helping companies identify opportunities to integrate biobased products into their current operations, helping to match companies with biobased manufacturers that best meet their needs, and facilitating company-manufacturer partnerships, creating opportunities for growth. The CIRAS bioindustry team can assist biobased product manufacturers with submitting products, product information, and company information to the BioPreferred program. The BioPreferred is a program created through the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) that requires all federal agencies to give preference to biobased products. CIRAS can help manufacturers test their products for biobased content and facilitate BEES analysis of biobased products for environmental and economic impacts.


Iowa State University Research Park Corporation

The ISU Research Park (ISURP) is a 230-acre development with 430,000 square feet of developed building space currently serving 60+ tenants and employing 1,200. The ISURP serves tenants and/or affiliates of any size, from start-ups to multinational corporations, offering incubation and suite space, shared equipment and conference rooms as well as university and area connections. While closely connected with the university, the ISURP is operated independently to help tenants reach proprietary goals. The Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, located at the ISURP, provides business development assistance to incubation and growth stage companies. The ISURP is currently undergoing a significant land expansion that will account for an additional 100+ developable acres.


Plant Sciences Institute

Plant Sciences Institute is a bold venture by the State of Iowa to establish a world-class plant science organization, building on the tradition of excellence of Iowa State University in agriculture. The Institute is a major force in ushering in new technologies to the University and recruiting outstanding faculty in a quest to build a premier program in the plant sciences. The Institute promotes economic development for agriculture and industry in the state and is key in making Iowa State University a world leader in plant biotechnology.

Innovations Development Facility (IDF) is a major activity within the Plant Sciences Institute to promote business activity in the area of plant biotechnology and economic development for the state of Iowa. IDF encourages ISU faculty, staff, and students to commercialize their research in the plant sciences and promotes the development of start-up companies among aspiring entrepreneurs.