EPA Notes UI's Carbon Emission Reduction for 2008

Thursday, January 29, 2009

By using one system to generate both heat and energy for the campus, the University of Iowa power plant kept 69,000 metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere in 2008, equivalent to the amount stored by 11,232 acres of pine forests for one year or the emissions from 8,046 passenger vehicles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency noted the achievement in its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership Greenhouse Gas Reduction Report, issued Jan. 14. The UI, a member of the partnership, burns coal, natural gas and oat hulls at its power plant to generate about 30 percent of the total electric power -and all of the steam energy - required by the main campus and UI Hospitals and Clinics complex.

The UI College of Engineering and Power Plant pioneered an innovative source of Biofuel in recent years.  A partnership with Quaker Oats Cedar Rapids plant provides an economical, environmentally friendly source of fuel using the oat hulls.  The hulls are a by-product of the cereal making process at Quaker.  They are trucked to the Power Plant and co-fired with coal in the circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler.  The project is one of many initiatives to help make The University of Iowa a national leader in sustaibnability education and research.

CHP, also known as co-generation, generates power and thermal energy from a single fuel source, rather than from separate heat and power systems. Because of its efficiency, it reduces traditional air pollutants and carbon dioxide.

The UI is using several measures to meet goals set forth in its UI Energy Conservation and Management Strategic Plan. By 2010, for instance, the UI seeks to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent and use renewable sources to generate 15 percent of all energy on campus.