DuPont recently announced a pledge of $1 million to the Iowa State University (ISU) New Century Farm, the first research effort in the United States to focus on producing cellulosic ethanol on a farm. Research efforts will also include enhancing the production, processing, and utilization of feedstock for biofuels and biomaterials.
“The need for renewable sources of energy requires a dynamic new way of thinking. The New Century Farm will research the practical things farmers can do in the future to grow, harvest, and store biomass in a sustainable manner,” said Dean Oestreich, DuPont Vice President and General Manager and President of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. “We’re proud to partner with Iowa State to create a demonstration farm that will be the first of its kind to integrate both the growing and processing of biomass into biofuels.”
Funding from DuPont, through its Hi-Bred business, will be allocated from 2008-2012 and will provide for facilities to conduct research in biomass crop breeding, crop rotation needs, and ways to efficiently store and process biomass material. A teaching laboratory will be featured as well to train future scientists and farmers. An extension facility will focus on demonstrating the economic, social, and environmental viability of bioenergy.
“Supporting the bioeconomy is one of our highest priorities at Iowa State University, and the New Century Farm initiative is key to these efforts,” said ISU President Gregory Geoffroy. “We’re delighted to have Pioneer partnering with us in the important initiative.”
The New Century Farm will be located on the ISU Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Research Farm west of Ames, Iowa. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall, with a completion date for the main bioprocessing facility a year later.
“We are excited to be working with Pioneer and others to create a facility that will help address the opportunities and challenges of producing biofuels and bioproducts from biomass,” said Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at ISU. “At the New Century Farm, the opportunity is great to integrate directly into agricultural fields the connections with harvesting, transportation, storage, and processing. The New Century Farm will not only provide a venue for cutting-edge research, it will also allow us to train the next generation of scientists in this critical growth area.”
For more information about the New Century Farm, visit ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Web site.