Miscanthus biomass to power University of Iowa

Biomass industry company Repreve Renewables, LLC, has been chosen to provide the agricultural and business development services for the University of Iowa's Biomass Fuel Project.

The Biomass Fuel Project aims to assess and improve the environmental aspects of new and existing biomass crops and fuels.

Repreve Renewables' giant miscanthus, a perennial grass, will be used as fuel in the university's power plant. This project will increase the power plant's renewable fuel consumption and reduce the use of coal, all part of the University of Iowa's sustainability goal of 40 percent renewable energy outlined in its 2020 Vision.

Repreve Renewables will employ the Accu Yield System a proprietary, precision agricultural system developed by the company to plant and establish giant miscanthus. Use of the Accu Yield System reduces the cost of establishment and increases yields, a major breakthrough in the cultivation of giant miscanthus, making projects like this economically feasible, according to the company.

The company will move forward by securing land commitments for 2,500 acres in the Iowa City area, including the Eastern Iowa Airport where giant miscanthus will be grown to improve soil and water quality by reducing soil erosion.

"The University of Iowa is a leader in sustainability, just as Repreve Renewables is a trailblazer in biomass production and logistics, said Jeff Wheeler, CEO of Repreve Renewables. "The Biomass Fuel Project provides the opportunity to achieve breakthrough renewable energy solutions.  Working as a team with the local community, we can create new revenue sources for farmers and landowners, improve the soil, mitigate erosion and runoff, and increase the use of renewable energy to reduce the carbon footprint.  We are honored to be a part of the University's 2020 Vision.