Lab Tour & Facilities

Check the videos for more information:

Initial Vision

See it finished!


The Tessonnier group is located in Iowa State University’s Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL). This state of the art building was inaugurated in 2010 and is currently dedicated to research on the catalytic, biochemical, and thermochemical conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals.

BRL is part of Iowa State University’s Biorenewables Complex which was completed in 2014. The $74.5 million complex also hosts the Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, as well as classrooms and an auditorium.


The Tessonnier group shares 6,000 square feet of open space laboratory in the newly built (2010) Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) with Professors Brent Shanks and Wenzhen Li. Our lab has been equipped with brand-new benches, fume hoods, and other features ensuring an efficient and safe research environment.

In addition to our lab, we have access to all on-campus facilities available at Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory. This includes state-of-the art electron microscopy (FE-SEM, FIB, aberration-corrected TEM) and first-in-nation nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (DNP-NMR).

International collaborations also provide us with access to in situ XPS and NEXAFS at the Bessy II synchrotron in Germany, and to environmental TEM at the Center for Electron Nanoscopy in Denmark.

Lab Tour

Additional equipment available in the lab:

  • Micromeritics Autochem II 2920 Chemisorption analyzer coupled with a mass spectrometer
  • Bruker Tensor FT-IR spectrometer with DRIFT cell
  • Perkin-Elmer STA6000 Thermogravimetric Analyzer
  • Tubular furnaces (one is equipped with 4 Bronkhorst mass flow controllers for thermal treatments under controlled atmosphere)
  • Glove box
  • Eight Paar high pressure stirred reactor for catalyst testing
  • Agilent GC-FID and GC-MS


Instruments available at Iowa State University:

  • Several 300-700 MHz Bruker NMR and solid state NMR spectrometers (fully supported)
  • Several mass spectrometers (GC-MS, LC-MS, FT-IRC)
  • Netzsch DSC/TGA (Netzsch STA449 F1) coupled with MS (Netzch QMS 403 D Aëolos) and FTIR (Bruker Tensor 37)
  • Perkin Elmer 2100 Series II CHN/S Analyzer
  • PerkinElmer Optima 8000 ICP-OES
  • PANalytical XRF for elemental analysis
  • Bruker ELEXYS FT-EPR
  • Several Powder XRD instruments
  • Digital Instruments atomic force microscopes and scanning tunneling microscopes
  • Several scanning electron microscopes (including FEI Quanta 250 FE-SEM. Resolution: 1.2 nm)
  • Several transmission electron microscopes (including FEI-Tecnai G2-F20 equipped for EDS, EELS, and EFTEM)

The Team