Source: Larry Erickson, 785-532-4313, lerick@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Mary Rankin, 785-532-6715, mrankin@k-state.edu

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

Going green: Seminar looks at natural resources and production of bioenergy and sustainable products

MANHATTAN -- How to effectively use our natural resources in the production of sustainable products and bioenergy will be the focus of an upcoming seminar at Kansas State University. Global Aspects of Bio-based Products and Bioenergy will be offered Jan. 9-11, 2012, in Rathbone Hall.

The three-day program will provide a forum for those involved in bio-based products and bioenergy to present ideas and interact with others. Bio-based products include cotton, wood, wool, paper and newer products produced from agriculture, such as ink from soybeans. Bioenergy is energy from plants and biomass including ethanol, biodiesel and methane from anaerobic digestion.

"The goal is to address issues related to use of natural resources for production of food, energy and materials," said Larry Erickson, K-State professor of chemical engineering and director of the Center for Hazardous Substance Research. "As petroleum prices increase, the challenges of making good use of land, water and energy are greater. This is an opportunity to listen to professionals speak on important topics related to global aspects of food, bio-based products and bioenergy."

The seminar is part of a cooperative effort of Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University and the University of Arkansas to offer a certification program in bioenergy and sustainable technology. It will include all three of the focus areas of the certificate program: agricultural production, processing and sustainability. Additional information on the certification program is available at http://www.agidea.org/.

In conjunction with the seminar, an evening session at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, in 1052 Rathbone Hall, will emphasize policy and sustainability issues linked to food and agriculture. James Stack, professor of plant pathology and director of the Great Plains Diagnostic Network, which is based at Kansas State University, will present an overview of issues related to feeding Earth's 7 billion people, followed by a discussion on effective use of land and water. This event will be open to the public.

The seminar may be taken as an on-campus or online credit course. Sustainability Seminar: Global Aspects of Bio-based Products and Bioenergy, CHE 670, is being offered during January 2012 intersession, but enrollment for credit is not required for participation. In addition to oral presentations, posters and exhibits are planned for students, professionals and speakers who will be attending.

For further information, go to http://www.dce.k-state.edu/conf/bioenergy/.