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UL-led Biofuel Research Project Attracts Attention of Iowa Governor and Energy Industry

Chet Culver
Governor of Iowa, Chet Culver. Image All rights reserved by Governor Chet Culver

Iowa's Governor and oil giant Petrobras were in Rio de Janeiro to consult with leading experts from Europe and Latin America at an international conference on biomass and second generation biofuels based on a research project, DIBANET led by University of Limerick. Chet Culver, Governor of Iowa, the renewable energy capital of the United States, recently attended the recent DIBANET Networking Day, where he outlined Iowa's activities in the renewable energy sector. The meeting brought together key players in scientific communities and industry to discuss how Europe and Latin America can work together to produce diesel-compatible fuels sustainably and cheaply. Petrobras, the fourth largest energy company in the world, also attended and were keen to learn about technologies being developed by DIBANET. Culver, representative of the Governors Biofuel Coalition, discussed the latest developments in biofuels and biomass in Iowa. These developments are driven by the Iowa Power Fund, which was created to be a tool to promote the energy independence for Iowa.

"This fund has seen Iowa's renewable energy grow from 5% to 20% of the energy sector in a short space of time. Biofuels currently have an 8 billion dollar impact on Iowa's economy, which has generated 2 billion dollars in new household income and created and supported 50,000 Iowa jobs" said Prof. Michael H.B. Hayes, UL, co-ordinator of DIBANET. "If such a fund was made available in Ireland to support and develop green technologies like DIBANET, not only would it ensure energy security but it would drive the Green economy and deliver much needed sustainable, green jobs". Culver said.

The Networking Day was held on December 13th at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and was organized by members of the DIBANET project. DIBANET is a collaborative research project between Europe and Latin America which is developing technologies to produce diesel-miscible biofuels from the wastes and residues of these two regions. Culver consulted with DIBANET members as to how the technologies and processes developed within the project may contribute to secure sustainable energy sources as well as value-added products from biomass in the future.

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