UI Researcher Chairs Biofuels Colloquium July 12 In Washington, D.C.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A University of Iowa engineer may play a role in shaping U.S. policy regarding the development of the multi-billion-dollar biofuels industry.

Jerald Schnoor, Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, will chair a U.S. biofuels production symposium for the National Research Council (NRC).

Schnoor, who also co-directs the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, will deliver opening and closing remarks for the NRC colloquium, "Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States," Thursday, July 12, at The National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C.

The colloquium, expected to attract some 125 experts on such topics as the volume of water needed to produce commercial biofuels and how to minimize pollution associated with biofuels production, likely will provide information to help inform federal policymakers.

"Sustainable production of ethanol and biodiesel requires an assessment and plan for water use," Schnoor said. "This NRC Colloquium is bringing together the top scientists, engineers and policy experts on the water implications for increased production of biofuels. They will report on the latest technologies and policies for agricultural and manufacturing practices to protect the environment, economy and community while bolstering our nation's energy independence."

Schnoor, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has research interests in mathematical modeling of water quality, groundwater risk assessments and the impact of carbon emissions on global change. He is also recognized for his research in the field of phytoremediation, the use of plants to alleviate the effects of pollution. He is currently a co-director of the WATERS Network Project Office to plan a $300 million NSF national environmental observatory network.

The National Research Council is part of the National Academies, which is also composed of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. The private, nonprofit institutions provide science, technology and health policy advice under a congressional charter. The NRC was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the academy's purposes of further knowledge and advising the federal government.