“Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us.” - Henrick Tikkanen

Aquinas College

Bioenergy

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photo

Harvesting corn and stover
Photo courtesy of Warren Gretz (NREL PIX Number 10451)

Bioenergy (or biomass) is any plant derived organic renewable material, including agricultural food and feed crops, crop wastes and residues, wood wastes and residues, animal and municipal wastes, animal fat, and other similar materials. Previously discarded materials like those listed above generally contain potential energy that can be obtained through combustion or other processing. Biomass research is a rapidly growing field that explores the use of biomass for fuels, materials, power, and other uses. Drawbacks of this technology are generally the expanded use of agricultural products for energy and material production, and the use of pesticides and other chemicals in growth and processing. The use of this energy source also releases carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), however net emissions are reduced by 78% compared to petroleum fuels (Frontier Energy).

Links

BioenergyWiki

"BioenergyWiki serves as an open and balanced electronic forum to promote the utilization of bioenergy in a sustainable manner." Hosted by the National Wildlife Federation, the site's content is contributed by the general public.

Clean Energy Project Analysis Tools

"The RETScreen International Clean Energy Project Analysis Software is a unique decision support tool developed with the contribution of numerous experts from government, industry, and academia. The software, provided free-of-charge, can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, life-cycle costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies."

National Biodiesel Board (NBB)

Founded in 1992 by state soybean commodity groups, the NBB is the national trade association representing the biodiesel industry and the active coordinating body for research and development in the United States. The mission of the NBB is to increase the demand for commercially produced biodiesel in the U.S. through education, communication, and quality assurance programs, and to serve as the national coordinating entity and clearinghouse of biodiesel information. Their site offers a wide variety of information, including updates on biodiesel tax incentives, handling and use guidelines, explanations of how biodiesel is produced and advantages of using this renewable, cleaner burning diesel fuel.

National Biodiesel Board: A National Listing of Biodiesel Distributor Locations

Brought to you by the National Biodiesel Board, this link will bring you to an active map of the United States where you can click and find the biodiesel distributor nearest you.

National Biodiesel Board: A National Listing of Retail Biodiesel Fueling Stations

Brought to you by the National Biodiesel Board, this link will bring you to an active map of the United States where you can click and find the retail biodiesel fueling station nearest you.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

NREL is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL was established in 1974 and in September 1991, was designated a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This organizationís website is a good source of free published research on bioenergy.

Sustainable Energy Coalition (SEC)

The SEC is comprised of more than 30 national business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations. The Coalition was founded in 1992 and promotes increased federal support for energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and reduced federal support for unsafe or polluting energy resources.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biofuels Information

This site offers information on USDA funded research projects, such as biofuel production and profitability, economic and market research, biofuel feed stocks and the benefits and drawbacks of biofuel production and use.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

The DOE's mission statement is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States, to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission, and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the nationís nuclear weapons complex. The site provides information on energy policy, alternative energy sources, and access to their research and development initiatives.

University of Georgia Engineering Outreach Services: A Demonstration of Fat and Grease as an Industrial Boiler Fuel

Funded by the Fats and Protein Research Foundation and published in September of 2002, The University of Georgiaís Engineering Outreach Service conducted a feasibility study of burning biofuels in existing industrial boiler applications. The objectives were to publicly demonstrate the ease of converting to biofuel and the associated environmental and mechanical benefits. Click here for access to the full research report.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo courtesy of Bigfoto
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