ISU to study biomass gasification for ethanol, CHP

By Susanne Retka Schill | January 03, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 30, 2008, at 12:55 p.m. CST

Iowa State University has received a $2.37 million grant from the Iowa Power Fund to replace natural gas usage in ethanol plants with biomass gasification technology. The project will examine the production of ethanol from syngas; it will also study more efficient burners to utilize the syngas production from biomass gasification for thermal energy or for combined heat and power generation.

The ISU project was one of six renewable energy projects that received a total of $5.87 million in funding that reflect the goals set by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence.

The Iowa Office of Energy also issued its second annual energy plan. Highlights of the plan included:
  • Biofuels recommendations: enhancing the economic and environmental viability of the biofuels industry; developing a biomass feedstock supply infrastructure for second-generation biofuels; supporting the development and deployment of integrated biorefineries; improving the analysis used to develop greenhouse gas performance measures.

  • Renewable energy recommendations: promoting the development of an environmentally sound biomass industry in Iowa; promoting small-scale distributed power generation; promoting large utility-scale wind power.

  • Energy efficiency recommendations: promoting smart growth and supporting workforce development in energy; enacting an energy efficiency portfolio standard and expanding energy education; coordinating more uniform core utility energy efficiency programs; making energy efficiency the highest priority in utility planning.