The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has compiled the following list of resources to act as a foundation for researching the prompts provided for the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge.

You will find a selection of credible science-based, peer-reviewed resources, including fact sheets, technical reports, and policy briefs, from government agencies (local, state, federal), scientific and academic institutions, national laboratories, and research organizations. 

History of Modern Bioenergy

Discuss the progression of first generation bioenergy feedstocks to next-generation or advanced bioenergy feedstocks.

  • What is bioenergy? What is biomass?
  • What is a feedstock? What is a first generation feedstock? What is a next generation or advanced feedstock?
  • Why have researchers expanded our biomass resources to include next-generation feedstocks?
  • What are the benefits and challenges associated with next-generation feedstocks?
U.S. Department of Energy. 2016. 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy, Volume 1: Economic Availability of Feedstocks. M. H. Langholtz, B. J. Stokes, and L. M. Eaton (Leads), ORNL/TM-2016/160. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN. 448p. Available at: https://bioenergykdf.net/billionton2016/overview 
  • The 2016 Billion-Ton Report is the latest in a series of national biomass resource assessments that informs national bioenergy policies and research, development, and deployment strategies. The Report discusses the availability of potential cellulosic and algal biomass in the United States. The Report addresses the key questions of: what is the potential economic availability of biomass resources; how does the addition of algae, miscanthus, eucalyptus, wastes, and other energy crops affect potential supply; and, adding in the costs of transportation and logistics, what is the economic availability of feedstocks delivered into the to the biorefinery. 
U.S. Department of Energy. 2016. “Mobilizing Our Nation’s Biomass.” Bioenergy Technologies Office. DOE/EE-1437. Available at: /sites/prod/files/2016/07/f33/feedstock_supply_logistcs_factsheet.pdf 
  • This fact sheet provides an overview of the feedstock supply and logistics research and development funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. It also provides definitions for biomass, feedstocks, biorefinery, and Bioproducts. 
U.S. Department of Energy. 2016. “Feedstock Supply”. Bioenergy Technologies Office. Available at: /eere/bioenergy/feedstock-supply#Feedstock_Types 
  • Provides a basic overview of the different types of advanced bioenergy feedstocks that the Bioenergy Technologies Office is focused on.
McBride, A. et al. (2011). “Indicators to support environmental sustainability of bioenergy systems.” Ecological Indicators. 11: 1277-1289. Available at: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/ees/cbes/Publications/McBride%20et%20al%202011%20EI.pdf 
  • This peer-reviewed article identifies a set of key environmental indicators for bioenergy sustainability.
USDA-NIFA. 2016. “Sustainable Advanced Biofuels Across the United States.” Available at: https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resource/AFRI-Bioenergy_CAP_Overview.pdf 
  • This fact sheet summarizes the efforts of USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA’s) Agriculture Food and Research Initiative projects, which are focusing on developing regional systems for the production of sustainable biofuel, biopower, and bioproducts. It also gives a short overview of three types of advanced biofuels feedstocks: energy grasses, short rotation woody crops, and forest residuals.
Creative Discovery Museum. 2016. “What are Biofuels?” Available at: http://www.learnbiofuels.org/what-are-biofuels 
  • The Creative Discovery Museum provides a basic overview of biofuels.
Creative Discovery Museum. 2016. “Types of Biofuels.” Available at: http://www.learnbiofuels.org/types-of-biofuels 
  • The Creative Discovery Museum provides a basic overview of the types of biofuels feedstocks.
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. 2010. “Why is it so difficult to make cellulosic ethanol?“ Available at: https://www.glbrc.org/sites/default/files/Why%20is%20it%20so%20difficult%20to%20make%20cellulosic%20ethanol%3F.pdf 
  • A brief overview from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center about why it is difficult to make cellulosic ethanol. Also provides a list of sources to learn more about cellulose and microbes and biofuels.
US DOE. 2005. Genomics:GTL Roadmap, DOE/SC-0090, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (p. 204). Available at: https://public.ornl.gov/site/gallery/detail.cfm?id=181&topic=&citation=&general=cellulose&restsection=all 
  • An overview about the structure of cellulose and the challenges in breaking it down. From the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.
U.S. EPA and NREL. 2009. “State Bioenergy Primer: Information and Resources for States on Issues, Opportunities, and Options for Advancing Bioenergy.” Available at: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10osti/44688.pdf 
  • This report, produced jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Energy Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a comprehensive overview of bioenergy, biomass feedstocks, the bioenergy supply chain, as well as identifying opportunities and options for advancing bioenergy. 
Sustainability

In general terms, sustainability is the capacity of systems and processes to endure and thrive. Sustainable development seeks to balance economic development, social development, and environmental protection equally. Discuss the concept of sustainability as it applies to the development of bioenergy systems.

  • How would you define sustainability in the context of bioenergy?
  • What natural resources should be considered when planning and implementing a sustainable bioenergy landscape?
  • What are the potential benefits (environmental, social, and economic) of growing sustainable biomass resources?

Dale, V.H. et al. 2016. “Incorporating bioenergy into sustainable landscape designs.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 56:1158-1171. Available at: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/ees/cbes/Publications/Dale_etalLSDesignRSER2016.pdf

  • Peer-reviewed publication about integrating the production of advanced bioenergy feedstocks into a land management scheme that incorporates environmental, social, and economic systems called landscape design.

Souza, G.M. et al. 2015. “Bioenergy & Sustainability.” Policy Brief. SCOPE, Paris. Available at: http://bioenfapesp.org/scopebioenergy/images/E-VERSION-SCOPE-Final-lowres.pdf

  • Policy brief that discusses the various aspects of bioenergy sustainability, including energy, food, environmental and climate security.

Kline, K.L. et al. 2016. “Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action.” Global Change Biology Bioenergy. doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12366. Available at: http://web.ornl.gov/sci/ees/cbes/Publications/Kline2016Reconcilingfoodsecuritybiofuels.pdf

  • This peer-reviewed article provides an overview of the interactions among sustainable bioenergy, food security, and resource management, and the priorities for positive impacts. 

Creutzig, F. et al. 2014. “Bioenergy and climate change mitigation: an assessment.” Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 7:916-944. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12205/full

  • This peer-reviewed article provides an overview of bioenergy’s role in climate change mitigation. The publication discusses technological options, current knowledge of climate effects, and an update on the estimates of the advanced bioenergy feedstock potential and identifying the sustainability effects.

U.S. DOE 2015. “Our Commitment to Sustainability.” Bioenergy Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. /sites/prod/files/2015/06/f23/sustainability_factsheet.pdf

  •  A fact sheet provided by the Bioenergy Technologies Office on the current research and development areas of interest in bioenergy sustainability.
Bioenergy and Society

A sustainable transportation system is one that is accessible, affordable, efficient, and achieves the highest practical standards for safety, human health, and environmental quality. Discuss the role of bioenergy in the overall vision of sustainable transportation.

  • What role does bioenergy play in the development of sustainable transportation systems?
  • How can bioenergy technologies help meet sustainable transportation goals?
  • Discuss/illustrate whether our current transportation system is sustainable in the context of energy consumption, environmental impact, and the national/global economy.

U.S. EPA. 2016. Alternative Vehicle Fuels. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/alternative-vehicle-fuels

  • An overview from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about alternative fuels. This is an entry point for more research into alternative fuels, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). 

U.S. EPA. 2010. “E-85 and Flex Fuel Vehicles.” Office of Transportation and Air Quality. Available at: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P100BOSY.pdf

  • A Technical Highlights document from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), including E85 ethanol, the benefits and affordability of FFVs.

U.S. EPA. 2010. “Biodiesel.” Office of Transportation and Air Quality. Available at: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P1006V0I.pdf

  • A Technical Highlights document from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about biodiesel, including how it’s made, comparison to vegetable oil, performance, availability, affordability, benefits, and maintenance.

U.S. EPA. 2016. “Smart Growth and Transportation.” Available at: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/smart-growth-and-transportation

  • Overview provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about smart growth and transportation. Provides a number of links to further resources related to the topic.

U.S. DOE. 2012. “Sustainable Transportation.” Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Available at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/office_eere/pdfs/55295.pdf

  • Overview provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) about funded research and development on sustainable transportation. 

U.S. CDC. 2011. “CDC Transportation Recommendations.” Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/transportation/recommendation.htm

  • Overview provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the opportunity and recommendations on improving transportation in regards to health.

Jeon, C.M. and Amekudzi, A. 2005. “Addressing Sustainability in Transportation Systems: Definitions, Indicators, and Metrics.” Journal of Infrastructure Systems. 11: 1(31). Available at: http://center.sustainability.duke.edu/sites/default/files/documents/transportation_indicators.pdf

  • Peer-reviewed article discussing what is sustainable transportation and how to measure it.

U.S. DOE. 2016. “Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines For Tomorrow’s Energy –Efficient Vehicles.” Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Available at: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/66146.pdf

  • Fact sheet prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories about the Co-optimization of fuels and engines initiative.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2015. “Sustainable Transportation: Moving Peopole and Goods in Ways that are Cleaner, Greener, Smarter.” Analysis Insights. NREL/BR-6A20-64046. Available at: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/64046.pdf

  • This analysis conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory highlights the efforts being made towards sustainable transportation through cleaner fuels, greener vehicles, and traveling smarter. As well, the document provides an extensive list of resources to further investigate sustainable transportation research and development.
Bioenergy Education and Workforce Development

The “bioeconomy” is an emerging part of the U.S. economy that relies on renewable biological resources to produce fuels, power, and biobased products. For this industry to thrive, it will require the development of a diverse and skilled workforce. Discuss bioenergy-related educational programs as well as the characteristics of the workforce needed to support this growing industry.

  • What fields of study could lead to a career in bioenergy?
  • Research a bioenergy-related higher education program or job training institution in your state. How can the skills or knowledge gained from this program/institution apply to a career in the bioenergy industry?
  • What are some non-traditional fields of study that could lead to a career in bioenergy?

U.S. Department of Energy, Fueling the Bioeconomy, 2015. Available at: /sites/prod/files/2015/05/f22/bioenergy_green_jobs_factsheet_2015.pdf

  • This fact sheet provides an overview of the bioenergy workforce development opportunities in the bioenergy sector, as well as in the Bioenergy Technologies Office.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Careers in Biofuels, January 2013. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/green/biofuels/biofuels.htm

  • A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that details different careers in the biofuels sector.

U.S. Department of Energy. “Explore Bioenergy Technology Careers.” Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office. Available at: /eere/education/explore-bioenergy-technology-careers

  • This website from the Bioenergy Technologies Office provides a broad list of the types of jobs that are available on each step of the supply chain in the production of biofuels. It also provides links to further information on the Department of Energy website resources available on workforce development. 

Schwab, A., Warner, E., and Lewis, J. 2016. “2015 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers.” Naitonal Renewable Energy Laboratory Technical Report, NREL/TP-6A10-65519. Available at: http://www/nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/65519.pdf

  • A technical report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) summarizing a survey of 61 facilities that produce or plan on producing non-starch ethanol and/or renewable hydrocarbon biofuels products, at a commercial scale within the US in 2015.
Science and Technology

There are a variety of technology pathways used to convert algae, diverse cellulosic resources, and other emerging feedstocks into final products. Please choose one pathway from the list below and describe/illustrate the progression from feedstock to finished product.

  1. Algae and Biochemical Processing

Algae Biomass > Harvesting > Dewatering > Extraction > Fractionation > Upgrading > Finished Fuel Product

  1. Algae and Hydrothermal Liquefaction

Algae Biomass > Harvesting > Dewatering > Hydrothermal Liquefaction > Upgrading > Finished Fuel Product

  1. Cellulosic Biomass to Ethanol

Cellulosic Biomass > Pretreatment > Hydrolysis >Fermentation>Distillation > Ethanol

  1.  Cellulosic Biomass to Renewable Hydrocarbon Fuels (Biochemical)

Cellulosic Biomass > Pretreatment >Deconstruction with Microorganism or Biological Molecule > Sugar > Chemical Upgrading > Hydrocarbon Fuel

  1.  Cellulosic Biomass to Renewable Hydrocarbon Fuels (Thermochemical)

Cellulosic Biomass > Pretreatment >Pyrolysis/Gasification > Bio-oil/Synthesis Gas > Chemical Upgrading > Hydrocarbon Fuel

U.S. Department of Energy. 2016. 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy, Volume 1: Economic Availability of Feedstocks. M. H. Langholtz, B. J. Stokes, and L. M. Eaton (Leads), ORNL/TM-2016/160. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN. 448p. Available at: https://bioenergykdf.net/billionton2016/overview

  • The 2016 Billion-Ton Report is the latest in a series of national biomass resource assessments that informs national bioenergy policies and research, development, and deployment strategies. The Report discusses the availability of potential cellulosic and algal biomass in the United States. The Report addresses the key questions of: what is the potential economic availability of biomass resources; how does the addition of algae, miscanthus, eucalyptus, wastes, and other energy crops affect potential supply; and, adding in the costs of transportation and logistics, what is the economic availability of feedstocks delivered into the to the biorefinery. 

U.S. Department of Energy. “Feedstock Logistics.” Bioenergy Technologies Office. Available at: /eere/bioenergy/feedstock-logistics

  • This Department of Energy website provides an overview of the logistics of taking advanced biofuels feedstocks from harvesting to transport to storage facilities or biorefineries. 

Lautala, P.T., et al. 2015. “Opportunities and Challenges in the Design and Analysis of Biomass Supply Chains.” Environmental Management. 56:1397-1415. Available at: https://bioenergy.inl.gov/Journal%20Articles/Opportunities%20and%20Challenges%20in%20the%20Design%20and%20Analysis%20of%20Biomass%20Supply%20Chains.pdf

  • This peer-reviewed publication provides background knowledge and terminology on feedstock logistics and biomass supply chains.

US DOE. June 2007. Biofuels: Bringing Biological Solutions to Energy Challenges, US Department of Energy Office of Science. Available at: http://genomicscience.energy.gov/pubs/Biofuels_Flyer_2007-2.pdf

  • This fact sheet from the Department of Energy Office of Science provides an overview graphic depiction of the biofuels production supply chain, from feedstock cultivation to ethanol production. 

US DOE. 2005. Genomics:GTL Roadmap, DOE/SC-0090, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (p. 204). Available at: https://public.ornl.gov/site/gallery/detail.cfm?id=181&topic=&citation=&general=cellulose&restsection=all

  •  An overview about the structure of cellulose and the challenges in breaking it down. From the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

U.S. DOE. 2016. “Biomass Conversion.” U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office. Available at:
/sites/prod/files/2016/07/f33/conversion_factsheet.pdf

  • This fact sheet from the Bioenergy Technologies Office provides an overview of the research and development the Office is conducting on biomass conversion. Describes some of the conversion processes, as well as the end products of conversion.

 U.S. EPA and NREL. 2009. “State Bioenergy Primer: Information and Resources for States on Issues, Opportunities, and Options for Advancing Bioenergy.” Available at: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10osti/44688.pdf

  • This report, produced jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Energy Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a comprehensive overview of bioenergy, biomass feedstocks, the bioenergy supply chain, as well as identifying opportunities and options for advancing bioenergy.