Iowa State University’s Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) building is a visible “front door” to its many diverse and broad-reaching programs in biorenewables. The facility complements and replaces labs and offices previously located across campus and provides affiliated faculty and staff a physical environment that promotes interdisciplinary, systems-level research and collaboration, including laboratory, meeting and teaching space for both graduate and undergraduate students. Construction was made possible through an appropriation from the state of Iowa.
The hall entry provides a striking view of the bench- and high-bay pilot-scale facilities that house research projects focused on thermochemical and hybrid thermochemical/biological conversion of biomass. The Archer Daniels Midland Company Biorenewables Education Laboratories were designed for bench-scale and design-and-build courses focus on a systems approach in research-based learning and diverse educational activities. Administrative offices of the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) and the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CRiRC) are housed on this floor.
The second floor is dedicated to emerging research programs in chemical catalyst design and reaction engineering in support of programs at the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) and the Bioeconomy Institute.
The third floor spaces expand the research and development capacity of thermochemical conversion of biomass into fuels, chemicals and energy. Bench-scale research technologies in these laboratories include fast pyrolysis, gasification, torrefaction, and bio-oil and biochar characterization at the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI).
The fourth floor provides innovative laboratories and interaction space for biocatalysis and microbial metabolic engineering, two research thrusts of the NSF Engineering Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC).