Current News

Iowa State University Researchers Awarded Grant to Study Pollinator Health

A Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research grant will fund a study including Iowa State University to examine possible impacts on pollinators from strips of prairie planted in crop fields. Lisa Schulte Moore, a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, is leading the interdisciplinary team from Iowa State and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to investigate whether embedding strips of prairie in crop fields affects honeybee health, native pollinator abundance and diversity. Researchers will study bee and monarch butterfly populations. Read More»

What happened? Pyrolysis breakthrough could cut drop-in biofuels cost to $2.58 per gallon

From Biofuels Digest

We have a breakthrough in pyrolysis to report today that could reduce the estimated cost of producing fuel from $3.27 per gallon to $2.58 per gallon. And no one quite understands how the new process works — but it works. “What we have achieved is process intensification – multi-fold increases in biomass throughput for a given size reactor – while preserving oil yield,” said Iowa State University’s Robert Brown, the Godfatha of catalytic pyrolysis himself. Read More»

Unique Partnership Promotes Innovation and Economic Development in Cedar Rapids

From Our CR (Cedar Rapids seasonal magazine)

In the latest edition of Our CR, the City of Cedar Rapids gives an overview of the Iowa State University-Cedar Rapids Partnership. This partnership aims to increase cooperation and information exchange between faculty research and the City's agribusiness, food manufacturing and bioprocessing industries. Read More (page 7)»

April 3: Spring Affiliates Meeting and Student Research Poster Competition

The 3rd annual CCUR–BCRF Student Poster Competition will be held inconjunction with the Spring Affiliates Meeting on April 3, 1-3 p.m. in 1951 Food Sciences Building. All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit an abstract related to food, feed, or biorenewables. Awards will be given at the end of the meeting to the top three undergraduate student posters and the top three graduate students posters. Abstracts are due March 28.

Iowa Corn Provides Student Support to Attend 2018 CUTC

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board has provided funding for up to 10 students to present their research at the 2018 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) June 4-6 in St. Louis. If you have a student interested in presenting a poster at CUTC, please contact Karla Long, CCUR and BCRF program coordinator, at or 515-294-0160. Read More»

January-February 2018 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

November-December 2017 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

Fermenting the Future

From Biofuels Journal

The Fermentation Facility at Iowa State University provides access to fermentation equipment and laboratory staff for the research and development of technologies and products for biofuels, renewable chemicals, and other industrial purposes. Read More (page 46)»

All About Autothermal Pyrolysis

Autothermal pyrolysis with process intensification is the Bioeconomy Institute’s latest breakthrough in thermal deconstruction of biomass into biofuels and biochemicals. BEI is developing the basic technology and is working to demonstrate it on a commercial scale. Read More»

September-October 2017 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

July-August 2017 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

New wastewater treatment system runs on algae

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. Read More»

Iowa State named a partner in new Department of Energy bioenergy research center

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. BCRF affiliate Emily Heaton, associate professor of agronomy, will be project researcher. Read More»

May-June 2017 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

Iowa State Researchers Join New Carbon Economy Consortium

Researchers from Iowa State University are part of a “New Carbon Economy” consortium launched by the Center for Carbon Removal in partnership with several research institutions. The initiative has the goal of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into valuable products and services. Read More»

March-April 2017 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

Poster Competition for ISU Undergraduate and Graduate Students

The Center for Crops Utilization and the BioCentury Research Farm hosted a poster competition for Iowa State University undergraduate and graduate students engaged in food, feed and biorenewables research activities. The competition was held on April 20 in the Food Sciences Building. A list of the winners can be found at

January-February 2017 Newsletter

Featuring news about BioCentury Research Farm activites and faculty affiliates

Iowa State spinoff sees small towns using algae to clean water

From Des Moines Register

Two Iowa State University scientists believe algae can help cut costs for hundreds of small Iowa towns that face up to $1 billion to upgrade their wastewater treatment to meet tougher clean water standards. Article features BCRF's Darren Jarboe, Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen. Read More»

Iowa State University Improves Algae Technology to Treat Wastewater for Communities and Businesses

Iowa State University technology that improves the efficiency of wastewater reclamation using algae has gotten the attention of small Iowa communities and the largest wastewater treatment system in the world. Read More»

Iowa State engineer helps journal highlight how pyrolysis can advance the bioeconomy

Iowa State's Robert C. Brown is a guest editor of the current issue of the journal Energy Technology. The special issue features 20 scientific papers about Brown's specialty: using pyrolysis technologies to convert biomass into fuels, chemicals and fertilizers. The special issue is all about an "improved understanding of the fundamental chemical, physical, and catalytic processes underlying pyrolysis technology.” Read More»

Research presents ideas to create more renewable energy, reduce polution

From Iowa State Daily

BCRF affiliate Emily Heaton, associate professor of agronomy, discussed 'perennial power' and the economy at a recent Osborn Club meeting. Read More»