Grant and Research Library

title

program area

focus

dates

location

Long-term Assessment of Miscanthus Productivity and Sustainability (LAMPS)

Grant Renewable Energy Jan. 2015 — Mar. 2016 Ames, Iowa
Summary:

Since 2012, we have been working with the University of Iowa (UI) as they seek to establish 2,500 acres of Miscanthus . giganteus by 2016 for heat and power. US biomass work on M. . giganteus is less than a decade old, but with yields 2-4 times greater than traditional switchgrass, and ecosystem services typical [...]

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass

Summary

Since 2012, we have been working with the University of Iowa (UI) as they seek to establish 2,500 acres of Miscanthus . giganteus by 2016 for heat and power. US biomass work on M. . giganteus is less than a decade old, but with yields 2-4 times greater than traditional switchgrass, and ecosystem services typical of perennial grasses, it has quickly become a leading crop for temperate, rain-fed environments. Though its high yields favor M. . giganteus over other perennial grasses in techno-economic analyses, agronomic production uncertainties make potential growers reluctant to adopt this promising perennial grass. Because uncertainty around M. . giganteus best crop management practices restricts farmer recruitment, and ultimately, Iowa bioenergy supply, there is a critical need to elucidate the agronomics of M. . giganteus production at a meaningful scale.

We seek funding from the Iowa Energy Center (IEC) to 1) develop a collaborative research framework and 2) begin establishment of a long-term M. . giganteus experiment (Long-term Assessment of Miscanthus Productivity and Sustainability (LAMPS)). With the establishment of this unique infrastructure, we will be competitive for NIFA-AFRI funding, as well as funding opportunities from other federal, local and private sources.

Award Amount:

$99,954

Grant Active Dates:

Jan. 2015 — Mar. 2016

Organization:

Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University

Principal Investigator:

Emily Heaton

Co-Principal Investigator:

Nicholas Boersma

Status:

Active

Location:

Ames, Iowa

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Building a highly adaptable microbial consortium for efficient biomass utilization

Grant Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Mar. 2014 — Jan. 2015
Summary:

Inefficient xylose utilization in the mixed sugars poses a major challenge in developing economic biomass conversion processes. The aim of this proposal is to construct a genetically engineered microbial consortium consisting of Scheffersomyces stipitis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae to achieve high efficiency for mixed sugar utilization. Many research efforts have been dedicated to conferring the ability [...]

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Energy Efficiency

  • Agricultural

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass

Summary

Inefficient xylose utilization in the mixed sugars poses a major challenge in developing economic biomass conversion processes. The aim of this proposal is to construct a genetically engineered microbial consortium consisting of Scheffersomyces stipitis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae to achieve high efficiency for mixed sugar utilization. Many research efforts have been dedicated to conferring the ability of pentose utilization (mainly on xylose utilization) to model organisms such as S. cerevisiae, but the efficiency is still impaired by the general lack of sufficient level of the assimilatory genes, pentose transporters and mechanism for balancing cofactors, especially under the industry preferred oxygen-limited conditions1. On the other hand, S. stipitis (previously known as Pichia stipitis) has the highest native capacity for xylose fermentation, but our ability to manipulate it is relatively limited. More seriously, neither engineered strains nor native ones would ferment pentose efficiently when other, more readily metabolized hexose is present, as a consequence, reducing productivity significantly. Such a “catabolite repression” issue has been one of the cruxes throughout the development of biomass-based bioenergy industry2-4.

To address this issue, here we propose to rewire the metabolic and regulatory network in S. stipitis, generating a superbug that (1) is able to preferentially metabolize xylose in the mixed sugars; (2) is capable of converting xylose to glucose, which will be secreted and combined with the glucose in the lignocellulosic hydrolysates as the carbon source to support the other organism in the consortium to produce a wide variety of valuable compounds. With the feature of high adaptability, numerous biosynthetic pathways previously built and optimized in S. cerevisiae can be readily linked to a metabolic process that efficiently utilizes pentose in the presence of hexose. And with a few modifications to the culture condition, similar strategies can be extended to build consortia between S. stipitis and other industry preferred hosts such as Escherichia coli.

The Opportunity Grant from IEC will enable us to demonstrate the potential of using a microbial consortium to tackle a critical challenge in biomass utilization (See Appendix Supporting Letters from Dupont). In addition, it will provide opportunities for us to set up collaborations with experts from multiple disciplines (See Appendix Supporting Letters from Professor Julie Dickerson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor Abhijit Chandra, Mechanical Engineering, and Professor Jacqueline Shanks, Chemical Engineering in Appendix). Dr. Thomas Jeffries, the President and Founder of Xylome Corporation will visit us in March to discuss possible collaboration. IEC fund will be used as a seed funding for collecting preliminary data for future proposals, improving the likelihood of securing research funds from federal agencies, mainly including DOE and NSF.

Award Amount:

Not specified

Grant Active Dates:

Mar. 2014 — Jan. 2015

Organization:

Chemical and Biological Engineering | Iowa State University

Principal Investigator:

Zengyi Shao

Status:

Active

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Techno-economic screening of biofuels and biochemicals from high moisture feedstock

Grant Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Jan. 2015 — May. 2015 Ames, Iowa
Summary:

This opportunity grant proposal seeks Iowa Energy Center funding for developing preliminary data to support the pursuit of US Department of Energy and US Department of Agriculture funding announcements in the coming fiscal year. The DOE and USDA have issued a joint notice of intent (DE-FOA-0001217) for three topic areas: feedstocks development, biofuels and biobased [...]

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Energy Efficiency

  • Agricultural

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass

Summary

This opportunity grant proposal seeks Iowa Energy Center funding for developing preliminary data to support the pursuit of US Department of Energy and US Department of Agriculture funding announcements in the coming fiscal year. The DOE and USDA have issued a joint notice of intent (DE-FOA-0001217) for three topic areas: feedstocks development, biofuels and biobased products development, and development analysis. This project would create a techno-economic comparison of biofuel production pathways for wet feedstocks such as algae, and sweet sorghum could bolster the competitiveness of future ISU proposals to the DOE and USDA. The need for this opportunity grant is to develop preliminary economic analysis of wet feedstock production and biorefinery technologies being developed at ISU. Findings from this analysis could support the development of several DOE and USDA proposals by providing preliminary economic data. We envision that the economic analysis could be included in: 1) supporting information for feedstock development and biofuels products development proposals, and 2) development analysis proposals.

The applicant will collaborate with ISU researchers working on algae and sweet sorghum cultivation, thermochemical conversion, and system analysis to develop a holistic economic analysis. Potential collaborators have been identified in each of these topic areas. ISU is ideally suited to compete for the selected funding opportunities given the resources and expertise available at the institution.

Award Amount:

$24,228

Grant Active Dates:

Jan. 2015 — May. 2015

Organization:

Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University

Principal Investigator:

Mark Mba Wright

Status:

Active

Location:

Ames, Iowa

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Bioenergy Technology Education Center (BTEC) Partner Summit

Grant Renewable Energy Jun. 2014 — Aug. 2014 Ottumwa, IA
Summary:

Indian Hills Community College was awarded an NSF ATE Planning Grant to put together a team and plan of action to establish the Bioenergy Technology Education Center (BTEC). A BTEC Partner Summit was planned for the end of June, 2014. The meeting brought together all potential partners who will participate in the full BTEC proposal [...]

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass
  • Education

Summary

Indian Hills Community College was awarded an NSF ATE Planning Grant to put together a team and plan of action to establish the Bioenergy Technology Education Center (BTEC). A BTEC Partner Summit was planned for the end of June, 2014. The meeting brought together all potential partners who will participate in the full BTEC proposal either as funded training partners, non-funded training partners, or industry partners. The project grew beyond the initial budget for the Summit; therefore Indian Hills Community College asked for help to fund this important Summit.

Award Amount:

$5,000

Grant Active Dates:

Jun. 2014 — Aug. 2014

Organization:

Indian Hills Community College

Principal Investigator:

Chuck Crabtree

Status:

closed

Location:

Ottumwa, IA

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Carbon Negative Energy at ISU

Grant Renewable Energy Aug. 2013 — Oct. 2013 Ames, IA
Summary:

The Iowa State University Initiative for a Carbon Negative Economy (CNE) has developed a concept for carbon negative energy production based on pyrolyzing biomass into bio-oil and biochar. A co-firing fuel for power generation is produced using 30% “heavy ends” from bio-oil and 70% from crushed coal. The biochar produced in the pyrolysis process is [...]

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass
  • Other

Summary

The Iowa State University Initiative for a Carbon Negative Economy (CNE) has developed a concept for carbon negative energy production based on pyrolyzing biomass into bio-oil and biochar. A co-firing fuel for power generation is produced using 30% “heavy ends” from bio-oil and 70% from crushed coal. The biochar produced in the pyrolysis process is sequestered in soils, thereby removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of the fuel production cycle. The biochar-amended soils are less prone to nutrient leaching, have increased water retention and cation exchange capacity, improved resiliency to weather extremes and enhanced productivity.

Award Amount:

$95,353

Grant Active Dates:

Aug. 2013 — Oct. 2013

Organization:

Iowa State University

Principal Investigator:

Lysle Whitmer

Status:

closed

Location:

Ames, IA

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Emission Impacts from Utility Deregulation in Iowa

Grant Renewable Energy Feb. 1998 — Sep. 1998 Iowa City, IA
Summary:

The Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER) has been tasked with completing estimates of air emission impacts from the Iowa Utilities Board staff analysis of a competitive electric generation market in Iowa. A base case was developed by IUB, consisting of actual generation and fuel consumption data from 1996. IUB then completed an [...]

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Renewable Energy

  • Biomass

Summary

The Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER) has been tasked with completing estimates of air emission impacts from the Iowa Utilities Board staff analysis of a competitive electric generation market in Iowa. A base case was developed by IUB, consisting of actual generation and fuel consumption data from 1996. IUB then completed an analysis of the generation patterns that might have occurred in 1996, had the Iowa utilities been operating under a competitive market scenario.This report presents a comparison of the emissions estimates developed for each scenario.

Award Amount:

$16,147

Grant Active Dates:

Feb. 1998 — Sep. 1998

Organization:

Iowa State University

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Jerry Schnoor

Status:

closed

Location:

Iowa City, IA

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