A report authored by researchers at Iowa's three public universities says climate change is already affecting the way Iowans live and work. Legislation approved in April 2009 asked university researchers to study the effects of climate change on Iowa and report back to the governor and the Legislature. The report makes seven policy recommendations that begin to protect the state's economy, environment and residents from changes in climate.
Trying to increase the amount of biomass available for ethanol production has led Iowa State University researchers to explore a double-cropping system that included triticale and sorghum.
Bioasphalt® developed by Iowa State University's Christopher Williams and produced by Avello Bioenergy Inc., a company started by three Iowa State graduates, will be tested on a Des Moines bicycle trail. Williams said asphalt mixtures derived from plants and trees could replace petroleum-based mixes. And that could provide markets for Iowa crop residues and business opportunities for Iowans.
Machinery to clean and collect corn cobs for cellulosic ethanol production and other uses based on initial research by an Iowa State University engineer is being highlighted at the John Deere exhibit at this year's Farm Progress Show, Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 in Boone.
Three recent Iowa State University graduates are building a startup company, Avello Bioenergy Inc., on technology they helped develop at Iowa State. The company's focus will be to produce bio-oils that can be used to replace petroleum-based materials in asphalt, can be processed into various renewable chemicals and can be used as renewable industrial fuels.
Two years into a study looking at methods of combining a living cover crop between corn rows shows that yield can be maintained at high levels using environmentally friendly practices. Researchers are testing between-row cover grasses as part of research looking at ways to reduce soil runoff and keep vital nutrients in the soils while crop residue, called stover, is removed from farm fields to produce biofuels.
Iowa State University has been awarded a $200,000 grant to develop perennial cash crops for southern Iowa. The grant was awarded by the Sun Grant Initiative to fund biomass crop production research. The grant forms a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Agricultural Research Service. The funds will be used for research at Iowa State, Southwestern Community College and on-farm research.
Lawrence Johnson, Iowa State University professor of food science and human nutrition, has been named director of the BioCentury Research Farm, a biorenewables production and processing research facility under construction west of Ames.
After only a handful of weeks in Ames, one of the newest faculty members of the Iowa State University Department of Agronomy is generating a buzz. Production biomass agronomist Emily Heaton is touting the benefits of the perennial grass miscanthus. And she should know; Heaton is one of the only people in the U.S. to have any published research on the topic.
Research led by Iowa State University limnologist, or lake scientist, John Downing finds that ponds around the globe could absorb as much carbon as the world's oceans. Professor Downing found that constructed ponds and lakes on farmland in the United States bury carbon at a much higher rate than expected; as much as 20-50 times the rate at which trees trap carbon. In addition, ponds were found to take up carbon at a higher rate than larger lakes.
DuPont today announced a pledge of $1 million to the Iowa State University (ISU) New Century Farm, the first research effort in the United States to focus on producing cellulosic ethanol on the farm. The research efforts also will focus on enhancing the production, processing and utilization of feedstocks for biofuels and biomaterials.
Iowa State University is creating the first integrated and sustainable biofuel and bioproducts feedstock production system of its kind on a research farm in Boone County.