Bioenergy and Biofuels

The educational materials listed on this page are about Bioenergy and Biofuels.

A biofuel is produced through biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biological matter. Biomass, unlike other renewable energy, can be converted into liquid biofuels to help meet transportation fuel needs. You may have heard this type of fuel referred to as biogas or bioenergy. The two most common types of biofuels in use today are ethanol, sometimes called e85 gas, and biodiesel. Ethanol fuel, or e85 fuel, is a product of agriculture and comes from corn. Biomass energy can also be derived indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, or industrial wastes to create biomass fuel. Key practices include agronomic crops as byproduct utilizationbioenergy and biofuelsanaerobic digestionbiodieselbiofuel feedstocksnutrient cyclingmunicipal wastesrenewable energy.

The SARE bulletin Clean Energy Farming: Cutting Costs, Improving Efficiencies, Harnessing Renewables shows farmers ways to utilize clean energy practices on their operations, whether large or small. This will help farmers learn ways to implement farming practices that both save energy and protect natural resources, and produce and use renewable fuels. SARE’s book, Building a Sustainable Business, guides producers who want to build a sustainable and profitable business plan to include renewable energy and biofuel options. The Farm Energy Topic Room provides a wealth of information on clean energy topics, including biodiesel, farm energy audits, solar and wind energy, and more. 

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Small-scale Oilseed Processing Guide

Oilseed crops present an opportunity for farmers in the Northeast to diversify with a crop typically grown in the Midwestern and Great Plains regions. Many of the crops are adaptable and have been grown in the Northeast--some for a number of years, and others only recently.