• [ July 5, 2013 ]
  • Iowa Energy Center R&D Grants Awarded

The Iowa Energy Center is pleased to announce the following projects awarded under the Research and Demonstration grant program, which is focused on energy efficiency in buildings, industrial energy efficiency, transportation energy efficiency, agricultural energy efficiency, renewable energy, and innovation.

Funds to support the Energy Center’s grant programs are derived from an annual assessment on gross intrastate revenues of gas and electric utilities in Iowa. The amount received from the assessment is closely tied to the level of economic activity in the state and can vary from year to year.

The following projects have been awarded under the program’s 2013 fiscal year.

Riser Sleeve and Mold Abiation Technologies for Improving Energy Efficiency in Steel Casting

This research project will focus on two different technologies to improve energy efficiency in steel casting: (1) riser sleeves and (2) mold ablation steel casting.

Liquid Phase Refinery of biomass to Fuels by Graphene Derived Nanocatalysts

During project year 2, the project will further optimize the graphene catalysts developed during project year 1. It will also synthesize catalysts using a new graphene material with surface area larger than 2000 m2/g. graphene.

Experiments, Technoeconomics, and Optimization of Bioenergy Systems Based on Bio-oil Gasification

This proposal will investigate a thermochemical approach through a combination of experimental and analytical studies that can potentially lead to the large-scale commercialization of this technology.

Distillation Bottoms as a Warm Mix Asphalt Technology

The research objectives will be addressed by developing asphalt mixes for physical performance evaluation and assessment of energy savings, conducting an analysis of the physical performance and energy savings, coordinating with field demonstration paving projects, collecting materials and field data, conducting physical performance, environmental assessment and energy assessment of field demonstration projects, and development of a final report summarizing the research conducted.

Production of Activated Carbon from fast Pyrolysis Biochar

The goal of this project is to produce value-added activated carbon (AC) from fast pyrolysis biochar. Activated carbons performance will be evaluated to remove contaminants from pyrolysis and gasification gas streams, as well as undesired compounds present in the water soluble bio-oil fraction.

Hybrid Processing for Robust Production of Biorenewable Fuels and Chemicals

The goal of this project is to develop a robust process of utilizing the substrate streams and improve the process economy. We aim to mitigate inhibition through two parallel approaches: reducing the abundance of the inhibitory compounds and increasing the biocatalysts’ ability to tolerate these compounds.

Novel Equichromic Organic/Inorganic Solar Cell

The objective of this 3-year program was and remains high efficiency, semi-transparent solar cells for potential application for windows.

ISU Farm Energy: Applying Energy Efficiency to Farm Enterprises

This project builds on earlier work by deploying energy management concepts on ISU’s research and demonstration farms.

Catalytic Processing of Whole Algal Biomass into Aromatics and Ammonia

The overall objective of this project is to demonstrate a system for catalytically converting whole algal biomass into high value benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) and other aromatic hydrocarbons suitable for blending with paraffinic molecules for the production of chemicals of JP-5 and JP-8 aviation fuels.

Smart Sensory Membrane for Wind Turbine Blades

The proposed research aims at developing a robust and cost-effective distributed sensing method capable of damage diagnosis, localization, and prognosis, for wind turbine blades.

Conversion of Biomass into Fuels and Chemicals Using Solvolysis

The goal of this proposed research is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the solvolysis of lignocellulosic and lipid-based biomass to support the development of commercial solvolysis systems for the production of fuels and biobased products.

Next Generation Insulation Material for Appliance, Transportation and Building Systems

The primary objective of the project is to develop cost-effective nanoporous materials that can be used as core material in vacuum insulation panels (VIP), with thermal conductivity (TC) of less than 10 mW/mK. The VIP material system will have direct implementation in residential (appliances), industrial and housing (insulation systems), agricultural (food preservation and processing) and transportation (refrigerated containers) sectors.

Municipal and Hydrocarbon Waste Streams – an Alternative Source for Fuels

The proposed research is targeted at non-recyclable land-filled plastic waste mixed with biomass materials, such as paper, cardboard, food scraps, yard waste, wood, etc., with an aim to transform this waste into useful forms of energy, such as liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

Renewable Diesel Production from Biofuel/Co-Products

This project’s objectives are to demonstrate how the large volumes of co-products resulting from the corn-to-ethanol production process can be processed in a unique way and then the resulting lipid oils refined into a “drop-in” diesel fuel replacement biofuel. The project will attempt to demonstrate an end-to-end co-product processing system at a pilot scale that can be installed on-site at an ethanol facility, that can radically improve the efficiency and economics of the corn-ethanol industry.

For questions or additional information, please email Patty Prouty or call our Ames office at 515-294-8819.

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