University of Iowa Biomass Partnership Project

Biomass project graphicThis project is a collaborative effort to source new renewable fuels within 50 miles of Iowa City, to help meet the University of Iowa's goal of 40 percent renewable energy by 2020. Replacing coal with biomass is central to the strategy, which rests on three fundamental components of sustainability (environmental, social and economic). 

Sources of biomass fuel for the project include: timber stand improvement, dedicated energy crops (such as prairie grasses, switchgrass and miscanthus) and organic industrial byproducts (oat hulls).

The Biomass Parternship Project goals:

  • Transition the solid fuel boilers at the Main Power Plant from coal to biomass, while maintaing the ability of the plant to burn coal.
  • Develop a diverse renewable fuel portfolio from local sources.
  • Minimize modification to systems and equipment at the Main Power Plant.
  • Minimize the costs of renewable energy fuel supplies.

Related grant projects

  • Long-term assessment of miscanthus productivity and sustainability (LAMPS) [XP2015-12]
  • The University of Iowa Biomass Energy Sustainability Index: A decision-making tool for the University of Iowa Biomass Partnership Project [XP2014-05]
  • The University of Iowa Biomass Partnership Project [XP2012-05]
  • Assessment of woody biomass as a niche feedstock for biobased products in Iowa [E2009-26]


For more information, visit the project webpage.