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 utilization, bioenergy and biofuels, anaerobic digestion, biodiesel, biofuel feedstocks, nutrient cycling, municipal wastes, renewable 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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E3A Energy Efficiency and Alternatives
E3A provides free downloadable fact sheets, links to resources, and more to help you explore small renewable energy systems for your farm, ranch or home.
Northeast Farm Energy IQ
Farm Energy IQ offers free information to help farmers enhance operational sustainability in the context of the farm economy and ecosystem.
Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture: Curriculum and Handbook
To help educate farmers and agricultural professionals on climate change and agriculture topics, Julie Doll and a team of researchers at the Kellogg Biological Station have developed a handbook and a curriculum as products of a NCR-SARE Professional Development Program grant.
Videos from the Field
SARE, in partnership with Cooking Up A Story, has produced a series of how-to videos showcasing production and marketing practices used by some of the nation’s most successful sustainable farmers and ranchers.
New Release: Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy
Missouri fruit grower Dan West hated seeing so much wasted fruit littering his orchard floor, and he worried about how the supply and price of fossil fuel affected his profitability. Seemingly unrelated problems, West found one solution to both. He began fermenting the waste fruit into wine and converting some of that wine into ethanol […]
Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy
Using solar or wind energy or producing biofuels from crop feedstocks and anaerobic digestion helps farmers achieve energy independence while improving profitability and reducing fossil fuel emissions.
From Fruit to Fuel
As tree fruit growers know well, annual harvests do not remove all the fruit from the orchard. A great deal is left behind littering the orchard floor. While pondering his fruit waste problem, Dan West of Macon, Mo., who grows apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums and pears, hit upon a novel approach: Why not turn […]
The Sustainability of Biofuel Fact Sheet Series
This 18-part series addresses topics related to the sustainability of biofuel production, including biodiversity, greenhouse gas reductions, life cycle analysis and more.
Exploring Energy Efficiency and Alternatives Curriculum
According to Sarah Hamlen, Montana State University Extension, and Milton Grieger, University of Wyoming Extension, Western producers’ profitability is closely linked to the consumption and production of energy resources. Decisions made by these producers on energy issues have long-term implications for the sustainability of agricultural production, they assert. To increase producers’ knowledge of energy issues, […]
Sustainable Bioenergy Course
In association with an NCR-SARE Professional Development Program grant, the Bioenergy Training Center, in collaboration with the Farm Energy CoP, has developed a Sustainable Bioenergy Course to provide educational training resources focused not only on the technical feasibility of bioenergy generation, but also on approaches and processes that assist communities in understanding the comprehensive implications of bio-based alternative energy. This course can provide foundational materials for teaching undergraduates or for community education sessions.
Impact of Biomass Removal for Bioenergy
The rapid increase in ethanol production from corn rain, and the proposed use of crop residues for ethanol production poses significant challenges in increasing awareness and providing needed training to extension educators and agency staff to address the potential environmental impacts of intensive corn production and corn residue use. Mahdi Al-Kaisi conducted an educational training […]
Greenhouse Energy Conservation Strategies and Alternative Fuels
Many greenhouse growers are looking for options to reduce their energy costs, but they don’t always understand which options will provide the greatest return on investment. For his project, Scott Sanford developed curriculum materials, extension bulletins, resource lists, and a spreadsheet model for educators to use for delivering programming on energy management and conservation for […]
Biofuels and Community Participation
Extension and other natural resource educators can provide educational programming on renewable energy and potential impacts at the community level, and can be facilitators of community discussions about renewable energy. Sharon Lezberg provided training materials to approximately 100 extension, NRCS educators, and community stakeholders on ways to engage community members and stakeholders in assessing proposed bioenergy developments. The toolkit Lezburg developed provides a decision-making […]
This fact sheet series examines biodiesel from oilseed processing, to biodiesel conversion, consumer issues and economics.
This fact sheet series explores the applications and benefits of on-farm anaerobic digestion to convert animal waste to energy.
Biogas: A Renewable Biofuel
A University of Florida website developed as an outcome of SSARE-funded research in biogas production on small farms.
Storage Methods for Ethanol Co-Products
This University of Nebraska video series contains information on the storage and utilization of three unique co-product feeds from the ethanol industry.
Growing Biodiesel Crops: A Couple of Tips
In this short video, Rainville describes his philosophy for trying something new on your farm. It’s all about making the most of the learning curve.
Energy Independence: On-Farm Biodiesel Fuel Production
Roger Rainville is ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing costs on his farm near Alburgh, Vt. He’s currently producing biodiesel from canola and sunflower for about $1.70 a gallon.
Greenhouse Energy Conservation Strategies and Alternative Fuels
Includes curriculum materials, extension bulletins, resource lists, and a greenhouse energy model that were developed with the intention that educators can use the materials in full or part to deliver programming on energy management and conservation for greenhouse production.