About the Center for Sustainable Energy
Impacting the State, Nation, and World — Examples of K-State CSE Research
Charles Rice, agronomy, shared in the 2007 Noble Peace Prize. His work, in collaboration with Richard Nelson, Engineering Extension, and others, increased awareness of the impact of carbon dioxide on climate change and the role of sustainable agriculture and sustainable energy production in mitigating this problem.
Ruth Douglas Miller, electrical engineering, received a grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to establish the Kansas Wind Applications Center (WAC) at K-State. The WAC will provide technical assistance and educational outreach to Kansas individuals and communities interested in implementing wind energy. By siting small wind turbines at selected Kansas K-12 schools, the WAC seeks to increase understanding and excitement about wind energy at all educational levels.
Peter Pfromm, chemical engineering, partnered with a Kansas industrial leader to evaluate modifications required to produce biobutanol (a high-energy density fuel compatible with gasoline) in existing ethanol facilities. If economic or environmental problems arise, this research will serve as a roadmap for continued profitability for communities where ethanol plants are located.
Praveen Vadlani, grain science, developed a patented technology with a major ethanol producer to improve the value of distillers grains from an ethanol process and is investigating conversion processes for cellulosic biomass.
Sustainable Energy at K-State: Awards, Honors, and Developments:
Grant Awarded for Chemical Engineering Laboratory Renovations to Advance Alternative Energy Research
A trio of Kansas State University chemical engineering professors have been awarded a grant for renovating research facilities.
A grant from the USDA’s Rural Development Section, in conjunction with the Department of Energy, was recently awarded to K-State. This project is one of 21 research and development studies being funded to address limitations to adopting biomass for energy as national policy. CSE team members included Scott Staggenborg, lead researcher agronomy; Leland McKinney and Praveen Vadlani, grain science and industry; and Donghai Wang, biological and agricultural engineering.
Exploring ocean algae as a sustainable energy source is the focus of a recent K-State award from the National Science Foundation, Small Grant for Exploratory Research. Zhijan “Z.J.” Pei, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, and Wenqian “Wayne” Yan, biological and agricultural engineering, will investigate the possibilities of using algae, known to be rich in oil, for biofuel.
Studying the options of sorghum as an alternative ethanol crop to corn is the focus of a sponsored project recently awarded to K-State under the direction of Donghai Wang, biological and agricultural engineering. The funding partners for this study are USDA, a DOT SunGrant, the Kansas Sorghum Commission, and the K-State Agricultural Experiment Station.
Dr. Mary Rezac: Co-PI
Dr. Ron Madl: Co-PI
Keith Rutlin: Educational Programs Administrator