Sustainable Production and Distribution of Bioenergy for the Central USA

About CenUSA Bioenergy

Welcome to CenUSA Bioenergy. This site is the home of an ambitious Iowa State University-based, USDA sponsored, research project investigating the creation of a Midwestern sustainable biofuels and bioproducts system. CenUSA is a 5-year project and will run from 2011 to 2015. Learn more about CenUSA in our video CenUSA Bioenergy Oveview.

Iowa State University's Ken Moore is the lead investigator for a network of eight institutions (Iowa State UniversityPurdue University; University of Wisconsin, Madison; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; University of Illinois, Champaign; University of Vermont-BurlingtonUSDA Agricultural Research Service) investigating a regional system for producing fuels from feedstocks derived from potentially high biomass producing herbaceous perennials using the pyrolytic conversion process.

The research teams concentrate their activities on nine separate objectives: 

  • Developing cultivars and hybrids of perennial grasses optimized for bioenergy production.
  • Developing sustainable production systems that optimize perennial biomass yields and ecosystem services.
  • Developing flexible, efficient, and sustainable logistics systems.
  • Identifying and characterizing sustainable bioenergy systems to achieve social, economic, and environmental goals and understand socioeconomic and environmental consequences of perennial bioenergy systems.
  • Identifying germplasm characteristics amenable to pyrolytic conversion and evaluating performance of pyrolytic biofuels.
  • Evaluating policy, market, and contract mechanisms to facilitate broad adoption by farmers.
  • Developing procedures for managing risks and protecting health for each component of the biofuel production chain.
  • Providing interdisciplinary education and engagement opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Developing outreach programs for all stakeholders within the bioenergy system. 


More information about  the project is available in the CenUSA Bioenergy Informational Flyer, Project Narrative and Project Abstract and in the videos, CenUSA Bioenergy Overview and CenUSA Farmer Focus.