• Automated Vehicles and the Future of Fuel Efficiency

    Cars these days are becoming more and more like computers on wheels. Many car enthusiasts long for the days of simpler designs where they can figure out exactly what's going on... Topic: Fuel efficiency

  • Prius Plug-in Versus Volt: Which Costs Less to Drive?

    Now that Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been officially announced, we can begin the comparisons with the... Topic: EV, Price, Hybrid

  • Now you can determine the solar efficiency of your roof

    It is becoming more and more common to install solar panels on roofs in order to obtain green electricity, but not all roofs are equally suitable.... Topic: Solar, Solar resource

  • Vermont Experiments in Cow Power

    A recent case study in the State of Vermont suggests that deriving electricity from cow manure may be economically feasible. This small and largely agrarian state has no... Tagged: Vermont Topic: Biomass, Waste-to-energy, Anerobic digester

  • World's first consumer standard label for wind power launched

    The technical standard for the first global consumer label for companies to buy wind power and other clean... Tagged: International Topic: Wind

  • Charge It Up: Installing an EV Charging Station at Home

    Exciting, economical, and emission free: That’s the new world of electric vehicles!... Topic: EV

  • World First Low Carbon Fuel to Be Developed for Virgin Atlantic

    Virgin Atlantic today announced the development of a world-first low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative.
    ... Topic: Waste-to-energy

  • Nest Learning Thermostat: Shiny Toy or Serious Tool?

    It looks a bit like a hockey puck, but it’s designed to keep your home warm in the winter, while cooling it in the summer. But while it is indeed slick, it’s a lot smarter than... Topic: Efficiency, Thermostat

  • SAVE Act: Building Energy Efficiency into Home Value

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- The Alliance to Save Energy issued the following statement by President Kateri Callahan:

    "Every so often, a policy proposal turns out to be every... Tagged: Congress Topic: Efficiency, Legislation, Financing

  • A War Against Food Waste

    A food industry alliance is planning a three-year initiative to reduce the tremendous amount of food that Americans still throw in the garbage even as they grow... Topic: Biomass, Sustainability

  • Meet the Energy Superbugs: Extremophiles

    Extremophiles are tiny microbes that are able to thrive in hot, salty and even acidic or gaseous environments that would kill other forms of life.... Topic: Wind, Biomass, Waste-to-energy

  • Key Step Nears in Va. Quest for Offshore Winds

    A top state energy official says the federal government is preparing to accept expressions of interest from prospective developers of... Tagged: Virginia Topic: Wind, Offshore

  • Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields

     

    ...
    Tagged: Geothermal Topic: Natural gas, Solar
  • Health Effects and Light Bulbs

    For the first time scientists examined melatonin suppression in a various types of light bulbs, primarily those used for outdoor illumination, such as streetlights, road... Topic: Lighting, CFL, Solar

  • Duke Energy to Build Second Pennsylvania Wind Farm

     

    Duke Energy will build a new ... Topic: Wind farm, Wind, Utility scale

  • Military spearheads clean-energy drive

     

    ...
    Tagged: Ethanol, Electric Vehicles Topic: Renewables, Biodiesel
  • Solar homes showcase students’ energy, creativity

    University of Maryland students didn’t compete in the last Department of Energy Solar Decathlon... Topic: Solar, Site News

  • A Solar Panel on Every Roof? In U.S., Still a Distant Dream

    Daunted by high up-front costs, U.S. homeowners continue to shy away from residential solar power systems, even as utility-scale solar projects are taking off. But with do-it-... Tagged: United States, International Topic: Solar, Site News

  • Hog Waste Producing Electricity, Carbon Offsets

    A pilot waste-to-energy system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy this week garnered the endorsement of Google Inc., which invests in... Tagged: Everything Else Topic: Waste-to-energy, Biomass

  • Waste Water + Bacteria = Clean Energy

    For the first time, researchers have sustainably produced hydrogen gas, a potential source of clean energy, using only water and bacteria.... Topic: Hydrogen

Valley 25x’25 promotes sensible solutions to achieve 25 percent renewable energy in the Shenandoah Valley before 2025.

Biomass

Bioenergy is simply energy that comes from biological material.  Bioenergy is typially divided into two categories: biomass and biofuels.  Biomass energy is used for heat and/or electricity, and can be converted to energy through combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, anerobic digestion, or some other process.  Biomass energy can come from a variety of sources including manure or other waste products, or dedicated energy crops (such as switchgrass), though the most common source is probably still wood and wood residues (i.e., wood that is left over after processing of wood products).  Some of the most promising biomass energy technologies are waste-to-energy system.  These include anerobic digesters, which take manure and convert it to a biogas that can be burned for heat or electricity.  For the Shenandoah Valley, especially Rockingham County, poultry litter-to-energy systems are particularly promising as a potential source of renewable and environmentally reposonsible energy source.

Biofuels are fuel products derived from biological material and are usually used for transportation applications.  Prominent biofuels are biodiesel and ethanol.  Biodiesel uses the oils from biological material to produce a diesel product that can be used in diesel engines.  It usually comes in blends of B1, B5 or B20, depending on the blend ratio (higher numbers mean higher percentages of biodiesel).  Ethanol is produced from sugars, which are distilled to form alcohol that can be blended for use in gasoline-powered engines.  Most gasoline pumped in the U.S. already contains some ethanol, usually around 10%, but flex-fuel vehicles can use E85 as well.  The most common source of sugar for ethanol production in the U.S. is corn, although sugarcane is used exclusively in Brazil and the only ethanol producer in Virginia uses barley. Valley 25x'25 statement on biofuels: Valley 25x'25 promotes the adoption of sensible renewable energy solutions for the Shenandoah Valley.  We recognize that corn-based ethanol is a highly controversial topic in the Valley and elsewhere because of its impact on feed prices for poultry farmers.  Although Valley 25x'25 has no official position on ethanol,  because it does not make much economic or environmental sense.  We want to promote sensible renewable energy solutions for our region.

Biomass Links and Resources

Latest biomass-related content

A recent case study in the State of Vermont suggests that deriving electricity from cow manure...

A food industry alliance is planning a three-year initiative to reduce the tremendous amount of...

Extremophiles are tiny microbes that are able to thrive in hot, salty and even acidic or gaseous...

A pilot waste-to-energy system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy this week garnered...

Waste-to-energy solutions are among the most attractive options for renewable energy.

...

Humans should have a little more respect for dirty toilet water. In recent years, wastewater...

Building a pyrolysis chamber for heating a greenhouse and producing biochar...

90-second interview with Chelsea Jenkins, executive director of Virginia Clean Cities, who...

Related Links

These links may be helpful in finding more information about sustainability, clean energy, and local agriculture.

National 25x'25

  • A Look Back at 2011 Brings With It a Commitment to 2012
  • 'Climate-Smart' Agriculture Includes Accelerating Renewable Energy
  • Level the Playing Field for All Energy Sources
  • Highlighting another Path to Economic, Energy Benefits
  • Ongoing Growth of U.S. Renewable Energy Sector is Cause for Thanks

Renewable Energy World

  • Asia Report: Wind Tower Trade Case Sparks New Questions
  • Renewable Energy Recap: Israel
  • Renewable Energy Recap: Argentina
  • Renewable Energy Recap: Brazil
  • Top 10 Most-read News Stories of 2011

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