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Did you know that the grease restaurants use to make french fries can fuel a car? Or that manure can make electricity? Finding ways to reuse and recycle what most of us see as waste is what BECON is all about. Located in the heart of the heartland, the Biomass Energy CONversion facility in Ames, Iowa, is doing important research that could change the future of Iowa’s and the nation’s energy mix. BECON develops and tests different processes that can take Iowa’s plentiful biomass resources and turn them into useable power.

Biomass Conversion Processes
There are many different ways that biomass can be changed into more useful energy sources.
thermal gasification the process of transforming solid biomass into gas through partial burning
pyrolysis the process of transforming solid biomass into a liquid similar to crude oil through partial burning
anaerobic digestion the controlled decomposition (breaking down) of biomass in the absence of oxygen
fermentation the process of converting organic material from one chemical to another using microorganisms