New bioenergy, biological waste management program at Ohio State ATI

Starting fall semester, students at Ohio State ATI, CFAES’s two-year degree-granting unit in Wooster, will be able to study a new program focused on two key global issues: bioenergy and biological waste management.

Worth noting: National Geographic recently ranked water and wastewater treatment operator as the second-fastest-growing job in sustainability-related fields.

Check out Ohio State ATI’s website.

Green fair to host Renewable Energy Workshop

Image of sunshine and two sunflowers_3Fred Michel, a Wooster-based biosystems engineer with CFAES, has solar panels gleaming on his home and his car.

He’ll share his experiences with both setups in a Renewable Energy Workshop during the Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair in Wooster. Continue reading

Miscanthus? I’ve never met it (here’s how you can)

Photo of miscanthus grass 2Learn about giant miscanthus, a tall grass grown as a bioproduct crop, through a March 11 workshop and bus tour in Ashtabula County, hosted by CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension. Farmers in the county, which is in far northeast Ohio, now grow about 4,000 acres of the stuff. A company called Aloterra Energy, meanwhile, runs a production facility in the county that turns the harvest into such things as biodegradable food containers. The bus tour will include stops at farmers’ fields (possibly to see harvest if the weather is right; harvest is done in winter) and the Aloterra plant. Learn more here and here. Download the flier, which includes the registration form, here. (Photo: Miscanthus by photoncatcher from iStock.)

Biofuel sources hit the road. Then what happens?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACFAES scientist Ajay Shah answered the question, “What is the additional cost of road maintenance due to cellulosic feedstock delivery to a biorefinery?” recently in Ohio’s Country Journal. Biorefineries produce biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks like corn stover, shown here. (Photo by Wally Wilhelm, USDA-ARS).

Renewable Energy Workshop is Nov. 4

PSEG solar farmA solar installer whose headquarters has its own sun-powered system and the largest solar farm in Ohio, which covers an area equal to some 80 football fields, are two of the highlights of the 2015 Renewable Energy Workshop. The event, which CFAES is sponsoring, is Nov. 4 in Carey in northwest Ohio. Read more here. Download the flier and registration form here. (Photo: PSEG solar farm in Wyandot County by Ken Chamberlain, CFAES Marketing and Communications.)

Soil carbon effects of ethanol feedstocks

SwitchgrassJoshua Kendall, a PhD soil science candidate in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, presents “Soil Carbon Dynamics of Transition to Pacific Northwest Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstock Production” at 2:30 p.m. today in 245 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus, with a video link to 117A Williams Hall, 1680 Madison Ave., at CFAES’s research arm in Wooster, OARDC. His work relates to commercially producing ethanol from agricultural biomass. It looked at corn, wheat and switchgrass (pictured), two harvest levels, and their effects on the soil’s organic carbon. (Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA-ARS.)

In case you missed it (in the holiday hubbub)

Farm and Dairy’s Chris Kick wrote a fantastic story on Dec. 24 on ATI’s new and growing degree program in renewable energy. “Everything we do here,” ATI’s Russ Yoder said in the story, “revolves around the creation of job opportunity.” ATI student Cory Brewer, who is majoring in the program and now also has a job locally in the field, is featured as one example. ATI is CFAES’s two-year degree-granting unit in Wooster. Yoder is a visiting assistant professor with the program.