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About the BioCentury Research Farm


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 lignocellulosic crops, crop residues and grain. It is internationally recognized as the home of cutting-edge bioeconomy science and engineering.

Since 2009, the BioCentury Research Farm has served as the home for innovative and sustainable research and development utilizing some of the most plentiful raw materials available in Iowa: corn, soybeans, crop residues, grasses and algae. During that time, BCRF has led and supported over $85M in grant funding and supports more than 50 sponsored research and industry service projects each year.

The more than 260 undergraduate students who have been employed at the facility have gone on to careers at leading companies in the agriculture and engineering industries, including John Deere, Caterpillar, Inc., Corteva, Gross Wen Technologies, SpaceX and many more.

From research and development to product and system production, the entire supply chain is represented at the BioCentury Research Farm. The work done at this facility accelerates innovation and production capacity associated with biobased fuels, chemicals and products. Through developing new patents, supporting Iowa-based businesses and hosting research, the BioCentury Research Farm plays a key role in furthering economic development in the Iowa State community and across the Midwest.

Collaborations for developing sustainable technologies 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.