The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association today announced that Dr. Robert Brown will give a keynote speech at their 3rd Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on January 27, 2009. Brown is a professor of mechanical and chemical engineering and the founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames. The free event is hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) and will take place at the Polk County Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Brown, director of ISU’s Office of Biorenewables Programs, will address Summit participants on “An Acre for an Acre? Implementing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard.” Some have argued that using corn and soybean oil for biofuels production results in the need to increase crop planting in other areas, like the Brazilian rain forest. Dr. Brown will review the science and facts, or lack thereof, behind these “indirect land use” theories, which are being promoted in an effort to kick ethanol out of key markets resulting in greater use of foreign oil.

“We’re very excited to have someone of the stature of Dr. Brown as a part of our Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit this year,” said Monte Shaw, IRFA executive director. “He has been a leader in demanding sound science be applied to questions regarding the energy efficiency and greenhouse gas impacts of renewable fuels and petroleum products. Too often, groups with hidden agendas are trying to drive public policy based on ‘political’ science, not sound science. We look forward to Dr. Brown clearing the air.”

Other topics featured at this year’s Summit are: “RFS2: Holding Renewable Fuels to a Higher Standard?” “An Acre for An Acre? Implementing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard,” “Beating the Blend Wall,” and “Linking the Value Chain.” Anyone with questions or to obtain information on this event can go to the Iowa Renewable Fuels website at

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 36 ethanol refineries with a combined annual capacity of nearly 2.9 billion gallons in operation. There are 7 ethanol refineries under construction that will add 850 million gallons of capacity. In addition, Iowa has 14 biodiesel refineries with the capacity to produce over 317 million gallons annually. Two biodiesel refineries under construction or expansion will add 35 million gallons of annual capacity. Many additional renewable fuels projects are under development.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.