Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Al Ratner, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, presented his team's research on biomass gasification at a February 1 legislative reception at the State Capitol in Des Moines, IA.  The reception was held in recognition of the completion of a state-wide grant from Iowa NSF EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research).

Ratner also presented the research work to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and a group of representatives from the Independence Energy Company, Simonson Ironworks, and commercialization leaders as part of a discussion on commercialization efforts and how to support technology transfer.

The Ratner Research Group is devoted to finding solutions to important questions in combustion.  Just last year, Ratner and his team received an 18-month, $125,000 grant from the U.S. Poultry Council to explore disposal of the chickens—and elimination of any residual virus—by use of a gasifier (

The Iowa NSF EPSCoR project ran from 2011–2017 and was a joint effort by Iowa’s Regent universities: the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, and Iowa State University. The goal of the five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation was to build Iowa’s research capacity in renewable energy and energy efficiency.