Prairie Energy

Prairie vegetation is valuable for wildlife, soil conservation, and for aesthetic beauty.  But finding economic uses for prairie vegetation could help us to increase the amount of prairie on the midwestern landscape.  The Tallgrass Prairie Center has been working on ways to create and use diverse, native prairie vegetation since 2007. Our first major project was focused on the biomass productivity, soil and wildlife impacts of prairie biomass energy production.  Over the course of the study from 2007 to 2015, the Prairie Power Project involved at least fifty UNI students and four UNI biology faculty.  The process, and results of that study are detailed in subsequent pages.

The current focus of the Prairie Energy Program is to pilot a system of biomass harvest, densification, transport and burning for a rural school or business currently dependent on liquid propane for their heating needs.  Watch this space for updates!

Email: eric.giddens@uni.edu | Phone: 319-230-0578