Jim Lane – Biofuels Digest http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Thu, 23 May 2019 23:00:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 Plant robot, wheat bran and food waste coffins, lyocell car seats, 3D biobased dwelling, milk protein films, and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of May 23rd http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/23/plant-robot-wheat-bran-and-food-waste-coffins-lyocell-car-seats-3d-biobased-dwelling-milk-protein-films-and-more-the-digests-top-10-innovations-for-the-week-of-may-23rd/ Thu, 23 May 2019 22:42:30 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106252

The pace of bioeconomy invention and change continues at a frenetic pace. Here are the top innovations for the week of May 23rd

In today’s Digest, plant robot, wheat bran and food waste coffins, lyocell car seats, 3D biobased dwelling, milk protein films — these and more, ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Climbing GrowBot, a plant robot, paves the way of the future

In Italy, researcher Barbara Mazzolai with the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia’s Center for Micro-BioRobotics developed a plant robot or plantoid called GrowBot, which moves against gravity and uses artificial tendrils that work using the same physical process of water transportation in plants. At the bottom of the robot there is a polysulfone tube containing a liquid with electrically charged particles (ions) and acting as an osmotic membrane. This tube snakes in-between layers of carbon fiber fabrics, which work as electrodes. When the unit is connected to a 1.3 volt battery, these ions are attracted to the surface of the flexible cloth where they attach themselves. The moving particles cause the liquid to flow and, consequently, the tendril starts a coiling motion. The robot can also perform the opposite movement when the battery is detached.

Mazzolai says: “This has been a revolution in robotics, because the robot can create its own body and move towards another stimulus of interest, using manufacturing technologies. So, layer by layer, it is the robot that builds its body.” Besides its use for environmental monitoring in soil, this robot may be a flexible, growing endoscope in a human body, or even a space explorer of alien worlds, thanks to his ability to dig, implant itself and adapt to new external conditions.”
More on the story, here.

Project LIBERTY: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to POET http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/23/project-liberty-the-digests-2019-multi-slide-guide-to-poet/ Thu, 23 May 2019 22:41:31 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106239

POET has been turning one big idea after another into biofuel and renewable alternative product solutions for thirty years. They have grown from a single, humble refinery in Scotland, South Dakota, to one of the world’s largest producers of ethanol and other biorefined products.

Dave Bushong, Senior Vice President of Research at POET, gave this illuminating overview of their cellulosic ethanol projects focusing on Project LIBERTY, the ramping up and technologies behind it, and of course their vision and plans for the project’s future and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

Pushing Plants Harder Reduces Costs More Than We Thought http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/22/pushing-plants-harder-reduces-costs-more-than-we-thought/ Wed, 22 May 2019 23:07:14 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106218

By Dennis Zeedyk, Lee Enterprises Consulting

Special to The Digest


If a business has increased production, shouldn’t production costs increase? Over the course of the last four years Glycerin Traders has been fortunate to have a growing business. There is a notable increase in production and sales, but utility costs seem to be staying constant or even decreasing. We believe this is because we have learned to become more efficient and use what we have to its fullest potential.


Glycerin Traders LLC takes in waste raw glycerin from multiple biodiesel plants around the country. It acidulates the raw glycerin to remove the fats for sale to multiple industries. It also strips off methanol and some water that is then further distilled to nearly 100% purity. This is sold back to biodiesel plants as reclaimed methanol for them to use in the transesterification process. The remaining “processed glycerin” is typically 80% glycerin, 1% methanol, 10-12% water, 5-7% salts and remaining MONG (material organic non-glycerin). The flagship operation is based in Defiance, OH. Our company strives to never let a biodiesel plant get tank-locked with raw glycerin so that they can do what they do best, which is to produce quality biodiesel.


When the Defiance plant was purchased in late December 2013, we began operations by just distilling methanol on a 24/5 basis. Soon after operations began, we started the glycerin stripping line to obtain more wet methanol for processing and to have additional reclaimed methanol and processed glycerin for sale. In normal operating conditions, the main glycerin line would run through approximately 2,000 pounds per hour. At about this same time, we moved to 24/7 operations. In February of 2016, we converted the existing biodiesel line to process glycerin as well. Initially, this averaged about 600 pounds per hour. In February of 2018, we converted the feedstock processing line to process glycerin and it averaged about 1,200 pounds per hour. Based on how the feedstock processing line worked, we gained knowledge that enabled us to increase the biodiesel line to an average of 1,000 pounds per hour. The important thing to note is that during this time, we kept the same boiler, same air compressor, same plant manager, etc. We did change out a few pumps and motors, but only to move to larger pumps and larger motors that would facilitate the larger volume we were handling. Naturally, we added some labor to facilitate the greater number of trucks coming and going.

Also during this time, we began to gain a better understanding of how to properly manage our methanol distillation column. While we initially produced 6 truckloads of reclaimed methanol, over time we began to consistently produce 13 truckloads per month. We learned to adjust our pH, blend various degrees of wet methanol to produce a more consistent stream of wet methanol going into the column, and use the best feed pump for this product. We also installed pre-heating of the wet methanol so that the main feed heater was not pushed so hard and ultimately installed a larger reboiler heat exchanger. As you can see in Chart 1, our methanol production almost doubled from 2013 to 2018. Again, no changes were made to our electrical system or boiler other than better management of our boiler water.

Source: Glycerin Trader data

As we began pushing the methanol line harder, we found that our boiler would shut down more frequently. In order to prevent this from happening, we re-piped our steam condensate line, put in better steam traps and put in a new steam feed pump. These things helped to recapture more of the returning hot water (~190 F) and reduce the amount of incoming city water. The incoming cold water requires more natural gas in order to heat it back to steam vs. the returning condensate that is already 190 F. This also helps the boiler tubes last longer as there is less temperature shock. There was no surprise that this helped to cut our water bill. During the process of analyzing the water bill, we saw another cost saving opportunity.

Our city water bill consists of charges for incoming sanitary water and outgoing sewage. Because we had no outgoing sewage meter, the sewage calculation is based on how much sanitary water is used. Our largest water usage is our boiler, chiller, and cooling tower. These use, on average, approximately 12,000 gallons per day. This water doesn’t go back down the drain but rather back into the air. We approached the city and had them install a separate meter for the boiler & cooling tower. Because the city knows that this water does not go back into the sewer, they reduce our water bill to reflect the water used by the boiler and cooling tower that doesn’t go back down into the sewage system.


As you can see in Chart 2, the Defiance plant has gone from producing 14.5 million pounds/year of end-products (reclaimed methanol, fatty acids and processed glycerin) to 29.3 million pounds/year. This was a 95% increase in production. When we began making the changes in our production lines, we anticipated an almost linear increase in electricity and natural gas usage. You can imagine our surprise when we discovered that our monthly bill for natural gas dropped from an average of $17,230 to $13,320 – an 18% decrease. More analysis indicated that our natural gas usage increased by 12%, but gas prices dropped more, so our total annual gas cost decreased by 18%. At the same time, our total cost for electricity increased by 7.1% from 2014 to 2018.

Chart 2. Total Finished Products Produced vs. Utility Costs. The double bar graph above compares the gas and electric bills for each year from 2014 to 2018. The money spent contrasts with the dotted line, representing the increase in production and sales.

Source: Glycerin Trader data


The important takeaways from this article are the following:

  • Putting un-used assets (like our biodiesel and feedstock lines) into production helped us to increase revenue by more than doubling our finished glycerin production. Surprisingly, the boiler and vacuum pump handled the increased production with no problems.
  • Learning to run each line more efficiently (like our methanol line) was a big improvement. Using the same boiler, same column and a new improved feed pump and pre-heater allowed us to increase our methanol production by 50%. We still think there is a possibility of getting 10% more out of the column, but this is not yet proven.
  • Making sure we are pulling as much steam condensate as possible back into our boiler reduces our city water usage. It also helps us keep our natural gas usage to a minimum as we pull hot water back into the boiler, not cold water, while preventing temperature shock to the boiler.

The nature of our company is to continuously increase production and decrease costs. If we can increase production and keep some of our costs the same, we still reduce our costs per unit. We put into production unused assets to help increase our total production and then apply what we learn running these systems over time to maximize the output over time. With valued input from some of our close partners like Harvest Energy, D.A. Dodd, Power Plant Services, Enyart Electric, and Fremont Water, we have been able to push our system harder and operate more efficiently than we ever thought possible. This allows us to take in more raw glycerin from biodiesel plants, produce more finished products, cut costs on a per unit basis, increase revenue and grow as a company.

About the Author: Dennis Zeedyk is the owner of Glycerin Traders, LLC, a glycerin marketing company, and a member of Lee Enterprises Consulting, Inc., the world’s largest and most established bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 recognized professionals worldwide. Established in 1995, Lee Enterprises Consulting handles all areas of the bioeconomy, including both the established industries such as biodiesel, ethanol, biomass power, biogas/AD, water treatment, and renewable chemicals, and the vast array of emerging technologies.   

Hemp is Hot! The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Industrial Hemp http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/22/hemp-is-hot-the-digests-2019-multi-slide-guide-to-industrial-hemp/ Wed, 22 May 2019 22:58:01 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106192

Holland & Knight, a law firm based in Washington, D.C. and in the know of the fast changing federal regulations and rules, spoke at the Digest’s webinar this week about the road ahead for industrial hemp. Is it a smooth road ahead for hemp? Check out the slide guide to find out.

Michael Werner and Taite McDonald, Partners at Holland & Knight, offered the latest on this highly complex topic including the latest USDA and FDA regulatory updates, the role of DEA in all of this, hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, some hot case studies in Idaho and Louisiana, and more

Food, water, energy: an eternal golden braid of value and sustainability http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/21/food-water-energy-an-eternal-golden-braid-of-value-and-sustainability/ Tue, 21 May 2019 23:13:28 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106173

Jonathan Trent, late of the OMEGA algae projects, has authored a column on the topic of “putting existing technologies into ecosystems, to increase food productivity and profitability, while conserving water and energy and decreasing environmental impact.” He calls this UpCycle Systems, or UCS to those who adore three-letter acronyms, referring back to the concept of upcycling (vs recycling) as a reuse of discarded material ”in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.”

As Trent observes, waste byproducts are natural, almost every living thing creates a byproduct and what nature has taught us is that conservation of material is not achieved by a single system, but by one system using a waste material of someone else’s process as a feedstock for theirs. It used to be called the industrial symbiosis and it is practiced at large scale in Kalundborg, Denmark, as one example.

Trent is focused on the supply chains for energy, water and food and observes:

The astronauts living in the Space Station, like the people living in any modern city, all depend on our technical ingenuity to create accommodations, but their long-term survival depends on the supply chains, especially those that provide food, water, and energy. Food, water, and energy are critical for our individual survival, forming the foundation of our hierarchy of needs (Maslow)and the basis for our sense of community. These supply chains are taken-for-granted in many parts of the world because for a long time supply has been able to meet demand. But this raises an important question: 

How secure are our essential food, water, and energy supply chains? Population growth, urbanization, and changing lifestyles are increasing demand, while climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation are decreasing supply. This growing imbalance between supply and demand for food, water, and energy has led to some ominous speculation about the future. 

In Trent’s case, his focus is firmly on the farm, and he writes:

The UCS facilities combine livestock farming with anaerobic digesters, with freshwater or marine algae and aquaculture, with water treatment and reuse, as well as with fertilizer production–all of which are monitored and controlled by what we call augmented intelligence (AI).  Many livestock farms already convert animal manure into fertilizer by composting, and into biogas (methane) by using anaerobic digesters. In addition to biogas the UCS process takes advantage of two additional products from the digesters–digestate and CO2.  The digestate, which is itself an excellent fertilizer, is combined with CO2and dissolved in water to grow microalgae in a proprietary cultivation system we developed called OMEGA. Microalgae, which are fast growing and the most efficient plants for converting light into biomass, are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and algae oils.  In UCS facilities the microalgae become feed supplements for both livestock and aquaculture.  The aquaculture, with its excellent feed to food conversion ratio increases the overall food production efficiency.  This efficiency is further enhanced by using the concentrated oxygen from algae, which increases aquaculture yields. Wastes from the livestock, anaerobic digester, algae, and aquaculture all provide valuable fertilizer for algae or other commercial plants either within UCS facilities or for outside agriculture and revenue. 

You can read more about this initiative here.

The rise of Renewable Natural Gas as an example of the Upcycle

Recently in Washington we had some excellent exemplary news on the renewable natural gas front — a perfect example of taking a waste product from the farm (such as animal waste streams, fed to an anaerobic digester to produce biogas). Natural Gas Vehicles for America and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas announced that 32 percent of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in calendar year 2018 was renewable natural gas.

Captured above ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill or food waste, RNG – or biomethane – produces net carbon-neutral and even net carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles like short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles.  RNG fuel in 2018 had an EER-adjusted carbon intensity as low as -303.30 according to the California Air Resources Board.  By comparison, California’s electricity grid rated between 25.0 and 38.95.

Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577 percent, displacing over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

“Proven and affordable natural gas vehicle technology is over 90 percent cleaner than federal EPA nitrogen oxide emission standards,” said Dan Gage, President of NGVAmerica.  “And when those American-made heavy-duty trucks and buses are fueled with renewable natural gas, they are up to 125 percent cleaner than the cleanest diesel technology in terms of carbon emissions.  RNG-fueled vehicles are the most immediate and cost-effective heavy-duty option when seeking to combat climate change.”

“The environmental advantages of using renewable natural gas to replace fossil fuels in on-road transportation have driven substantial growth in development and investment in new RNG production across the U.S.,” said Johannes Escudero, RNG Coalition CEO. “The number of North American RNG production facilities has multiplied more than two-and-a-half times in the past five years to almost 100 today, while RNG fuel use has increased nearly six-fold.”

Details of the report – including graphics – can be accessed at: https://www.ngvamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RNG-Driving-Down-Emissions.pdf and http://www.rngcoalition.com/infographic.

New uses for produced or saved water

In the Netherlands, we have a very good example of how saving or producing water can lead in turn to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the creation of industrial value.

BP, Nouryon and the Port of Rotterdam have joined forces to explore the opportunity of making ‘green hydrogen’ via water electrolysis for BP’s refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which has the potential for significant reductions in CO2 emissions. The refinery currently uses hydrogen made from hydrocarbons, to desulphurize products. Replacing this entirely with green hydrogen produced from water using renewable energy could potentially result in a reduction of 350,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year based on current circumstances.

The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to study the feasibility of a 250-megawatt water electrolysis facility to produce up to 45,000 tons of green hydrogen yearly using renewable energy. It would be the largest of its kind in Europe. Nouryon would build and operate the facility based on its leadership position in sustainable electrochemistry. The Port of Rotterdam would facilitate local infrastructure and investigate options for further development of a green hydrogen hub in the area. The partners intend to take a final investment decision on the project in 2022.

New uses for biosolids from wastewater treatment

Biosolids, the nutrient-rich soil-like product from wastewater treatment, can now be converted into a marketable, renewable fertilizer, which is now being sold to local farms. Lystek has the technology and this month in San Francisco, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission received its first payment for sale of its biosolids-based fertilizer. Lystek International (Lystek), a North American leader in biosolids and organics management, has partnered with the SFPUC to convert biosolids, the nutrient-rich soil-like product from wastewater treatment, into a marketable, renewable fertilizer, which is now being sold to local farms.

Through its wastewater treatment process, the SFPUC extracts solids from the incoming wastewater, and uses a biological treatment process (anaerobic digestion) to transform the solids into a fertilizer replacement called biosolids – a compost-like product with valuable soil nutrients. Decades of research and use by farmers have demonstrated that biosolids are an effective way to improve soils and enhance crop growth by returning valuable carbon and nutrients to the land.

The partnership between the SFPUC and Lystek facilitates the production and sale of a climate-friendly fertilizer derived from biosolids and is an example of a larger international movement towards resource recovery and energy efficiency.

This fertilizer is ideal for agriculture as it is carbon-based, contains essential nutrients and increases soil carbon content – which is important for helping soils to hold more water in the face of drought. It can also reduce some of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional fertilizer production.

Wastewater utilities are now expanding their focus from cleaning water to the next environmental frontier—climate change. To help fight climate change and create more resilient communities in the face of volatile temperatures and drought cycles, utilities are ramping up the recovery and use of recycled products from wastewater such as biosolids, recycled water and biogas (a fossil-fuel gas alternative created during the biosolids treatment process).

Waste tires to fuels in Australia

In Australia, Green Distillation Technologies, which has developed world-first technology that transforms old tires into oil, carbon and steel, has received approval for their proposed Toowoomba plant from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. The tire recycling plant will be built at the Wellcamp Business Park, near Toowoomba Airport and when completed will process approximately 700,000 old tires per year into eight million liters of oil, 7700 tonnes of carbon black and 2000 tonnes of steel.

GDT’s Chief Operating Officer Trevor Bayley has said that they expected the actual development approval for construction of the plant to come before the Toowoomba Regional Council before the end of the month.

“After that, the final hurdle we face is the Queensland Government grant that we have applied for to help fund the $10 million construction bill and if that comes through, we could start preparatory work on the site before the end of May.”

Bayley said that GDT has a firm commitment from Southern Oil to take all the oil they produce anywhere in Australia for conversion into low-sulphur petrol, diesel or jet fuel. The carbon black is a chemical building block widely used in manufacturing, while the steel beading and reinforcing of the tyre will go back to the tyre manufacturers for reuse or for scrap.

The Bottom Line

As Trent observes, food, water and energy are vital — and the good news is that they can be linked into what Douglas Hofstadter referred to as an “eternal golden braid” in his landmark Godel Escher Bach. The evidence is piling up around us that symbiosis, though embryonic, is creating value around the world.

Mobilizing for a Bioeconomy: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to SEforALL and below50 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/21/mobilizing-for-a-bioeconomy-the-digests-2019-multi-slide-guide-to-seforall-and-below50/ Tue, 21 May 2019 23:11:15 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106155

Sustainable Energy for All was created to drive the energy transition, particularly in developing countries. below50 is a global campaign that brings together companies and organizations who commit to growing the global market for the world’s most sustainable fuels. They connect the entire value-chain for sustainable fuels that produce at least 50% less CO2 emissions than conventional fossil fuels. Their goal is to create the demand and market for these fuels to scale up their deployment.

Gerard J. Ostheimer, Ph.D., Global Lead, Bioenergy Accelerator for SEforALL and Co-Founder and Senior Advisor for below50, gave this illuminating overview of how these two organizations are working on mobilizing biomass to realize a global bioeconomy, the challenges they are facing, the opportunities they see for the future, and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

Innovative Foundation in Iowa http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/20/innovative-foundation-in-iowa/ Mon, 20 May 2019 21:18:05 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106136

By Debi Durham, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority

Special to The Digest

In Iowa, we work tirelessly to maintain our reputation as a bioscience epicenter with a continuous focus on innovation and collaboration. By capitalizing on our agricultural roots and research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences, the bioscience industry is thriving in our Midwest state. From startup companies to globally respected industry leaders in research and development, Iowa’s bioscience enterprises are discovering leading-edge solutions that will spur future economic growth for the state and the entire nation.

Many of the industry’s greatest contributions in biosciences have originated in Iowa. In the last decade, Iowa has made significant progress in building the industry, with employment growing 8 percent between 2008 and 2014. A critical mass of bioscience companies and research institutions in Iowa are pushing for progress; today, more than 1,200 entities are working to commercialize Iowa’s bioscience innovations in the fields of agriculture, medical devices, precision and digital ag, vaccines, immunotherapy and renewable chemical subsectors. Innovation can often be a buzzword, but the strides our companies and institutions are making in the industry – growing bigger, smarter, more efficient and more diversified – serve as proof points that the future of industrial biotechnology has a firm foundation in Iowa.

Businesses Making Breakthroughs

Coupled with business-minded incentives and a skilled workforce, many companies have found success because Iowa gives them the freedom to explore. To provide room for exploration, our legislation created America’s first Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit in 2016, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls the “strongest existing incentive package for the global bio based chemical industry.” Other tax incentives have alleviated risk for Iowa companies, improving their potential for profitability.

Among the many entities at work in Iowa, two examples of companies that attribute their competitive advantage to their Iowa locations are Renewable Energy Group (REG) and POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels.


Based in Ames, REG has been advancing the biodiesel industry for more than 20 years since its operations began under the umbrella of West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa. REG leaders advocated for the biodiesel industry in its earliest stages to transform the niche market into the driving force of sustainable fuel that it is today. Now, REG is the largest biodiesel producer by volume in the United States, and along with supplying many other products, the company continues to contribute resources and industry leadership worldwide.

Iowa cultivates the pioneering and transformative spirit of REG. Iowa’s business-friendly environment has allowed REG to take calculated risks that have paid off for their company and the industry.


POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels is a cooperative effort between two innovative companies with one shared vision – to make cellulosic bioethanol competitive with grain ethanol, the most competitive renewable liquid transportation fuel on the market today. To do this, the joint venture relies on POET’s ongoing bioethanol effort, Project LIBERTY, taking place in Emmetsburg, Iowa. With this project, the company has solved a critical challenge in pretreatment, overcoming what has been a major hurdle to commercialization for producers around the world. Establishing Project LIBERTY in a location with such strong agricultural roots and access to necessary resources, the company has been able to make proven advancements in biofuels and has shared this positive impact with the entire industry.

Lofty company visions take a lofty amount of support, especially as the ag industry evolves. Companies benefit from those aforementioned tax credits and pro-business legislation. Additionally, our research institutions are continuously transferring breakthroughs to the private market and educating our concentration of engineers, scientists and American farmers.

Research Institutions Are Reaching New Heights

Iowa is home to three public universities – the University of Iowa, Iowa State University (ISU) and the University of Northern Iowa – that are world-renowned for dynamic research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences. This network leverages more than $1 billion in external funding, including research grants, on an annual basis.

ISU – Efforts That Go Above and Beyond

At first glance, ISU’s leadership in animal health science is apparent. The university is a cornerstone of the world’s largest concentrations of animal health professionals including the USDA’s National Animal Disease Center, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories and the Center for Veterinary Biologics in Ames. However, the university’s efforts extend beyond animal health and dive deeper into the biosciences arena in other ways as well.

Bioeconomy Institute

The Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) at Iowa State seeks to advance the use of biorenewable resources to produce fuels, energy, chemicals and materials. The Institute builds on a five-year initiative that has brought the university national recognition in the fields of biofuels and bioenergy. The campus-wide effort to create the Institute spurred from the curiosity behind how renewable resources such as sustainable feedstocks could be used more in different ways. Curiosity continues today and has helped to provide the necessary cohesion among the diverse efforts in this arena on campus, throughout the state and amongst the whole region.

NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals

Another effort by ISU’s College of Engineering can be seen in the work that is conducted by the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC). Founded in 2008 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the subsequent Engineering Research Center focuses on advanced manufacturing for sustainable bio-based chemicals. Multidisciplinary research efforts have revealed new ways to capitalize on enzyme engineering and microbial production. Seeing as how advanced manufacturing is the No. 1 business sector in the state, research and innovative solutions by institutions like CBiRC provide the support these industries need to achieve productivity and improve processes throughout the state and beyond.

Taking Reins in the Revolution

These efforts made by ISU and other research institutions, along with the leadership from Iowa companies both large and small, have assured the state’s prominence in the revolution that is changing the way we develop consumer products. Even as the industry landscape changes and intertwines between different business sectors, Iowa remains committed at all levels to driving the industry forward and maintaining an environment suitable for innovative expansion in the bioeconomy.

 The companies that work here and the research that is developed here speaks volumes, and we’re excited for what we’ll uncover next. We look forward to bringing new, innovation-minded partners into our mix as we advance, and are excited to share our expertise. A perfect opportunity to further connect with us in this space is to attend the 2019 BIO World Congress, coming this July to our capital city. For the first time being held in the Midwest, Des Moines will host hundreds of innovative thinkers, gathering together to share ideas, technologies and research. We think attendees will be pleasantly surprised to learn of our bioscience foundations and how we are enhancing contributions to this industry.




Algae and Synthetic Ecology: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to New Mexico Consortium http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/19/algae-and-synthetic-ecology-the-digests-2019-multi-slide-guide-to-new-mexico-consortium/ Sun, 19 May 2019 20:42:21 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106103

New Mexico Consortium is non-profit corporation formed by 3 NM universities to facilitate research collaborations for universities, industry & Los Alamos Laboratory. They are looking to algae as a solution where cell factories could produce energy in a carbon neutral way with a primary focus on developing best producers (sourcing, strain selection, genetic modification).

Alina Corcoran, Research Scientist at New Mexico Consortium, gave this illuminating overview of why algae, how it is being challenged by variability and the role of synthetic biology in all this, and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

MicroNiche Engineering: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Microvi http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/19/microniche-engineering-the-digests-2019-multi-slide-guide-to-microvi/ Sun, 19 May 2019 20:30:21 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106083

Microvi has a vision of safe water, sustainable chemicals and a clean environment for all. How they do this is through their exclusive MicroNiche Engineering platform which combines material science and microbiology to provide novel, fit-for-process biocatalyst composites (MNE biocatalysts).

Ameen Razavi, Director of Innovation Research, Microvi, gave this illuminating overview of their MicroNiche Engineering platform, applications in water purification, wastewater treatment and renewable fuels and chemicals, commercial operation of their technology with full-scale installations around the world, and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

Waste-to-Energy: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to IEA Bioenergy Task 36 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2019/05/16/waste-to-energy-the-digests-2019-multi-slide-guide-to-iea-bioenergy-task-36/ Thu, 16 May 2019 22:05:23 +0000 http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/?p=106030

IEA Bioenergy´s Task 36 is a three-year work program focusing on solid waste energy recovery and a forum for information exchange. The participating countries in this Task are France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

Inge Johansson, Task leader if IEA Bioenergy Task 36, Researcher at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, gave this illuminating overview of the role of waste-to-energy in a circular economy, Task 36’s recent work and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco