Project ID



Work continued on a plan to increase the renewable, sustainable fuel sources available to power operations at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. A team of researchers from multiple institutions collaborated to create a tool that would allow the UI to evaluate its alternative energy options more effectively.

Key Question

When a variety of biomass-based solid fuels are available to be co-fired to generate steam and/or electricity (in this case, specifically at the University of Iowa), which are the more sustainable choices and why?


The University of Iowa has identified more than 20 potential biomass fuel sources. The UI is employing the triple bottom line of sustainability – environment, equity, economy – as a framework for decision-making, and applying this framework to fuel selection is an extension of that commitment. An energy sustainability fuel index that could be used by easily and effectively by power plant managers as a decision-making tool appeared to be an achievable task.

Principal Investigator(s)

Liz Christiansen


Ingrid Gronstal Anderson, Ferman Milster, Sara Maples, Aaron Strong, Adam Ward, Eric Tate, Tyler Priest, Emily Heaton, Lisa Schulte Moore, Richard Hall, John Tyndall, Maeraj Sheikh, Daryl Smith

Year of Grant Completion