The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

May 28, 2004

UI Joins Chicago Climate Exchange

In an attempt to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being generated in the Midwest, the University of Iowa recently joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the world's first multi-national and multi-sector marketplace for reducing and trading greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the terms of its membership, the UI is required to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by four percent by the year 2006, as compared to the baseline years of 1998-2001. Jerry Schnoor, UI Allen S. Henry Chair of Engineering and editor of the journal Environmental Science & Technology, says that the university's action will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, utilize a renewable waste product as a resource for Iowa and save the university hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in coal costs.

The UI will burn oat hulls to meet part of the requirement of its CCX membership, potentially replacing up to 30,000 tons of coal at its power plant on the University of Iowa campus. The use of oat hulls, purchased from Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids, will result in a potential reduction of about 72,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, a 20 percent reduction in the UI's total annual carbon dioxide emissions and more than enough to meet the four percent reduction required by the agreement.

Ferman Milster, UI Facilities Services Group associate utility director, said, "The oat hull project began when the power plant was contacted by Quaker Oats in 2001, regarding the possibility of burning oat hulls in our fluidized bed boiler. We saw this as an exciting opportunity to partner with a local industry, and provide tangible benefits to the university and the environment."

The way the CCX is designed, the excess savings of carbon dioxide emissions would translate into carbon dioxide emissions credits, perhaps valuable to other exchange members who fail to meet their emission reduction goals. Such credits could be worth thousands of dollars to the UI.

Dan Wombold, senior manager, Human Resources and Community Relations at Quaker Oats of Cedar Rapids, said, "Quaker is pleased that the partnership with the University of Iowa has progressed so well. This truly is a 'win-win-win' arrangement that benefits the UI, Quaker and the air quality of the state of Iowa."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu; Project: Jerry Schnoor, 319-335-5649, jerald-schnoor@uiowa.edu; Ferman Milster, 319-335-5132; ferman-milster@uiowa.edu