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Home » Tools: Find Stuff; Calculators

Tools: Find Stuff; Calculators

Biofuels Atlas

Looking for biomass?  Check out the Biofuels Atlas on the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Easy to use, just click on the box of the type of energy resource that interests you from specific feedstocks (switchgrass, corn stover, sugar beets, etc.) to energy generation from wind, geothermal, coal, etc.; to oil, nuclear and natural gas resources. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) originally developed this application for biopower with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency's Blue Skyways Collaborative. The Department of Energy's Office of Biomass Program provided funding for biofuels functionality. ****

Biomass Information

The Sun Grant BioWeb is a non-commercial, educational website that provides current information about using biomass resources for bioenergy and bioproducts.

This site is designed to help you understand:

  • What biomass is, where it is, and how much is available
  • The ways it can be converted to biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts
  • The current state of biomass technology, research, production & use
  • Biomass economics and policy 

All BioWeb content is contributed by experts in their fields and vetted through an academic peer review process. Use the left bar links to navigate this rich source of peer-reviewed information related to biomass and its utilization.  READ MORE

**** Looking for algae?  The Algae Biomass Organization has an interactive international map of algae research, companies and projects. ****

Global Renewable Fuel Mandates

To help people around the world keep track of the changing political landscape, Global Renewable Fuels Association has launched an Interactive World Biofuels Map available on their new website. ****

Identify Flex-Fuel Vehicles

Identify Flexible Fuel Vehicles by manufacturer.  Lists by year and model courtesy of Growth Energy. *****

Find Conversion Kits

Excerpt from Idaho Ethanol:  EPA now certifies converted vehicles, rather than conversion systems or "kits." Typically, EPA refers to a fuels converter (the certificate holder), as a "small volume manufacturer." An individual or entity that wishes to have a vehicle converted to operate on an alternative fuel must do so through a company or organization associated with a certificate holder. Examples of types of companies or organizations that hold Certificates of Conformity issued by EPA include the designer of the conversion equipment, the producer or manufacturer of the equipment, and the person or entity that plans to perform installations. It is the responsibility of the certificate holder to ensure that the equipment is properly installed and that the system is safe, durable, and results in the vehicle meeting the emission standards of the original model year of the vehicle. Certificates of Conformity for "aftermarket" conversions (conversions on vehicles that are owned by an individual, company, or organization rather than the OEM) are signed by EPA and certify that the appropriate sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Parts 85 through 88) have been met. Certificates indicate the following: The only Kits that meet these standards in the USA are Fuel Flex International and Flex Fuel US. (as of February 2013)  READ MORE *****

Find Alternative Fuels Locations

Download App to locate alternative fuels fueling locations. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a resource you can take on the road. A free iPhone app shows the location of more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country with services for electric, natural gas, biodiesel, E85, propane or hydrogen vehicles. Find E85 Pumps:   Locate fueling stations with blender pumps and E85 pumps by state, zip code, in US and Canada. You can now use your Garmin or TomTom GPS device to locate E85 stations all over the country. This data will let you upload E85 stations as special Points of Interest (POIs). You can also navigate to E85 with youriPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android andBlackberry phones. *****

Find Biodiesel Pumps and Bulk Distributors

Locate retail biodiesel pumps using maps created by the National Biodiesel Board. The National Biodiesel Board also  lists bulk distributors of biodiesel with information provided by the companies.  The information is not verified by the National Biodiesel Board, nor by Advanced Biofuels USA; nor can either organization vouch for the quality of the product available through these companies or co-ops. US Biofuels Exchange to buy and sell Ethanol and Biodiesel worldwide.  The US-BX is open to Biofuel Producers (Biodiesel and Ethanol), Brokers, Blenders, Distributors, Importers, Exporters and Marketers (resellers). *****

E85 Content and Prices

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association posts Thursday wholesale E85 prices every Friday.  The prices are for wholesale use, and therefore restricted to wholesale fuel distributors and retailers, not end users.  The list includes actual percent of ethanol/gasoline blendstock (which is not always 85%).


Find BioRefineries

Locate biodiesel plants in the US and Canada on Biodiesel Magazine’s interactive map. Locate all kinds of biorefineries in Canada on the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association’s web site. Locate fuel ethanol plants in the US and Canada on Ethanol Producer Magazine's interactive map. This page contains an interactive map that highlights the Bioenergy Technologies Office-funded biorefinery projects from the pilot, demonstration, and commercial scales. Learn more about the Office's integrated biorefinery (IBR) efforts in the IBR Portfolio OverviewPDF fact sheet. Scroll below the map to read more about IBRs.  READ MORE International Energy Agency has mapped global second-generation biofuels demo plants and projects.   You can search by type of plant (biochemical, thermochemical or hybrid), scale (pilot, demo or commercial) and status (planned,on hold, under construction, under commissioning, or operational).  Each individual entry includes data on the project name, location, technology, output, facility type, total investment and a technology brief on each project, plus contact information and project photos. Currently, large efforts are dedicated to the production of biofuels from lignocellulosic raw materials. While only few production facilities are operational yet, many projects are under construction or planned. But which are the companies involved, where are production facilities under construction, and which technologies will be applied? In order to answer these questions, IEA Bioenergy Task 39 has collected data on pilot and demonstration projects and displays the results in a web-based, interactive map. BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) has created a map of existing and planned advanced biofuels refineries.  As BIO describes it:  Today, four years later, a number of biorefineries have reached demonstration and pilot scales, and many developers are raising capital to build new commercial-scale facilities. BIO has tracked the development of more than 65 pilot, demonstration and commercial projects for advanced, cellulosic and algae biofuels across the United States and in Canada. Biotechnology companies have developed the technology to produce a range of chemical molecules – including butanol and other higher alcohols, ketones and aromatics, diesels and oils – that can be used as drop-in fuel, fuel additives, or upgraded to military specifications for fuel.  READ MORE Biofuels Digest created a US Advanced Bioenergy Map using Google interactive mapping and showing the locations and status of advanced biofuels (and some biochemical) refineries around the country.  You can get the 30,000 foot view or zoom in to see on exactly what street the facility is located.

Map of current advanced bioprocessing technologies in the US

Yellow - fermentation technologies (dots indicate commercial scale) Red - thermochemical technologies (dots indicate commercial scale) Green - algae-based technologies Blue - Renewable sugars production Chemical symbol - sites producing renewable chemicals only Biofuels Digest also publishes a spreadsheet listing of approximately 1000 biorefineries around the world. SuperData contains all known biofuels refineries worldwide, including project locations, project owner, feedstock(s), existing production capacity, products, and project category (pilot, demonstration, or commercial). The SuperData Basic edition is available for free to registered Digest subscribers, and Digest subscriptions are also available for free.  The database is designed for use by government authorities tracking planned capacity, trade associations, industry consultants, equity analysts, and project owners doing competitive analysis and due diligence.   The database is available here. *****

Find Renewable Energy Products

The Renewable Energy Database, based in Berlin, Germany, maintains a series of maps and lists, including ones of  Renewable Energy Organizations, Events, Products, and Companies.   Agrobiobase aims to promote biobased products, Agrobiobase is a database that covers both biobased chemistry and biomaterials, from raw materials to finished products. Business people can: - facilitate their sourcing of biobased products, - and obtain key datas such as their percentage of biobased material, their technical information sheets, their environmental impact etc.. Strategic news and special features also accompany this database and guide you through the world of bioproducts. *****

Find Federal Legislation

The Bioenergy Technologies Office is pleased to announce the release of a new Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (Bioenergy KDF) resource: the Legislative Library. Using this database, site visitors can track federal legislation relevant to the production and use of biofuels in the United States. Users can choose from a variety of search filter options—including congressional session, political party, state, chamber, and status—to learn about the work being carried out by specific members and committees to advance the U.S. biofuels industry. The Legislative Library also provides links to full-text versions of the bills and other relevant websites so users can access more in-depth information about the legislators and policies that interest them. Check out the Legislative Library today!   Learn more about what the Bioenergy KDF has to offer by reading the fact sheetPDF *****

Find State Incentives and Law

To view a state’s incentives and laws related to alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, select a state from the map or menu on this Department of Energy page. For examples of incentives and laws developed on a local level and that apply to cities and counties instead of an entire state, learn about local incentives and laws.   READ MORE DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. DSIRE experienced its second major overhaul in 2010. In addition to a more modern design, users were able to filter the content of the database by multiple criteria for the first time. This time period also saw tremendous growth in policy and incentive activity across the country with the number of program records in DSIRE increasing from fewer than 2,000 at the start of 2010 to nearly 2,800 by the end of 2014.   READ MORE / MORE *****

Find USDA Biofuels Resources

USDA Energy Web includes interactive map, graphing analysis tools, and the USDA Energy Matrix. These instruments allow you to view past USDA investments, navigate in a friendly environment USDA energy programs and compare and analyze biofuels and bioenergy data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).   READ MORE Energy Investments Map  The Energy Investments Map is an interactive map to help users understand where USDA is providing investment support for renewable and sustainable energy initiatives across the United States. Research what’s going on in your State or County. USDA Energy Matrix The Energy Matrix is a Navigational Aide. USDA’s energy related programs are large in scope, and extends among many USDA agencies and mission areas. If you are searching for alternative and affordable energy solutions, funding for projects, available programs and program information, or research and development – we are here to assist you. The Energy Matrix is USDA’s one-stop-shopping matrix serving the public, private businesses and the government. The Renewable Energy Tool The Renewable Energy Tool is an interactive tool to help users identify at the National, state, and county level the logistics, environmental linkages, and economic linkages across feedstock production, renewable energy production and renewable energy demand and distribution. *****

Biofuel Infrastructure, Logistics, and Transportation (BILT) Model

 BILT is an optimization model capable of simultaneously specifying infrastructure for the entire biofuel supply chain, including selection of biomass, transport mode, location and capacity of preprocessing and refinery facilities and distribution. The current version allows users to select a set of contiguous states, a list of candidate refinery locations, and a goal of replacing a certain percentage of the gasoline consumed in the region. The results show the movement of biomass from origin counties to the selected refinery location(s), movement of ethanol to blending facilities, and distribution of blended fuel to counties where demand is being satisfied. Data from published literature provide the inputs for the supply chain options and constraints. The model uses the biomass potentially generated in the selected region, based on the recent Billion Ton Study update. Transportation costs are generated based on actual transportation network data in a selected set of states (VA, WV, MD, PA) and estimated from general distance formulas in other regions. When a user specifies the region and replacement percentage, a model is developed and queued for solving. Once a solution is obtained (usually within a few minutes) the user receives an email to access the results. The full model currently only available allows for selection of biomass by type and the introduction of preprocessing facilities. The model also allows for specification of the refinery processing options including costs based on preprocessing and capacities.   READ MORE *****

Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF)

The Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (Bioenergy KDF)) is an extensive online collaboration toolkit for information sharing. Researchers and engineers from national laboratories, academia, and private industries are encouraged to register for an account in order to upload files, customize information online, and exchange knowledge with others. In addition, the Bioenergy KDF provides you with a platform to publicize results and connect with consumers in need of information. You can use KDF tools to perform exploratory analyses such as examining climate model simulations and projected impacts. Bioenergy KDF provides the latest research data on biomass feedstock production and supply projections that can help identify business opportunities. Explore the viability of building a biorefinery by examining highway and railroad transportation routes from regional production facilities. Identify counties with the potential for corn stover production greater than 800,000 dry tons per year. The Bioenergy KDF allows you to ask questions, analyze the data, and utilize the information to identifying business. Bioenergy KDF provides online access to the latest research data on biomass production and easy-to-use decision support tools. You can use the Bioenergy KDF to help make policy decisions at a state level by asking questions like: How much corn stover is available in my state and how much is projected in 2022? Which counties in my state produce perennial grasses? How many ethanol biorefineries are under construction and where are they located? Answers to these questions can help you make informed decisions about aligning renewable energy technologies with strategic policies. Learn about the ongoing efforts to keep the United States at the forefront of renewable bioenergy technology research and adoption. Use the Bioenergy KDF to explore the data with mapping tools. Explore the role your country or state will play in providing feedstocks to biorefineries. Find locations of all the bioenergy facilities in your state and locate biomass sources such as pulp/paper mills in your area. Explore projections for energy crop resource availability across the nation through 2022. The Bioenergy KDF provides you with a suite of tools and access to multiple databases that address these topics.  READ MORE *****

Feedstock Cost and Profitability Calculator

The Feedstock Cost and Profitability (FCAP) Calculator provides an estimate of the breakeven price needed to cover the costs of producing biomass from alternative feedstocks. These include crop residues from corn and energy crops like miscanthus, switchgrass, mixed grasses and hybrid poplar. The breakeven price includes the cost of two alternative types of land that could be used to produce the energy crops, marginal land and cropland. Specifically, this calculator computes the minimum price per ton of biomass crop that would be needed to cover all the costs of producing the biomass. In the case of energy crops grown on cropland, this includes the foregone income by converting cropland to energy crops, while in the case of energy crops grown on marginal land it includes the county soil rental rate for the Conservation Reserve Program in that county as an indicator of the cost of land. To use the FCAP calculator, select your state and county, current crop on the land you plan to convert to an energy crop, and the type of biomass crop you plan to grow. Navigate through each of the tabs in the menu bar above to see the default assumptions for your county and view results. The breakeven costs of energy crops can be estimated under two alternative scenarios. The low cost scenario assumes relative ease of establishing the crop, low nutrient requirements, low costs of harvesting and baling, and lower harvest losses as compared to the high cost scenario. This calculator is based on research conducted by Prof. Madhu Khanna and Dr. Haixiao Huang at the Energy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The web interface has been developed by Centrec Consulting.  READ MORE   Southeastern Biomass Interactive Mapping Service (IMS)--The Interactive Mapping Service (IMS) allows you to explore the woody resource market in the southeast (currently North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama), both supply and demand. You will be able to see where competition is located, and the resource distribution. Biomass Decision Support System (BDSS)  The Biomass Decision Support System (BDSS) is a user-friendly, web-based system that provides a collection of tools to help biomass growers in their crop production decisions.  The tools combine scientific models with market data to show expected costs and financial returns from growing a certain feedstock.  Input variables can be selected and local information on market risks, incentives and technical assistance are available. *****

Biomass Energy Quick Assessment Tool

The LocaImpact of Woody Biomass Energy Projects: Quick Assessment Tool for Planners and Community Leaders (the Quick Assessment Tool), developed by the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, and the New York Farm Viability Institute, with funding from the U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center, is a user friendly software  tool to help planners, development officials, municipal leaders and other community leaders evaluate woody biomass-based energy projects and engage other community members concerning the real impacts that increased use of woody biomass would have both in the three most common areas of concern — the condition of local forests (forest health), air quality, and highway traffic — as well as potential benefits in terms of local economic activities, tax revenues and employment. Local planners, community leaders and development officials in need of ways to clarify potential project impacts early in the project development phase, can use the Quick Assessment Tool so that issues such as stewardship of forests in the the region, job creation, and maintaining local air quality, are addressed in an informed manner.  The Quick Assessment Tool is designed not only to prepare local officials to engage with project developers and interested members of the public in grounded discussions of the realistic impacts of woody biomass projects on their communities, but is also intended to help local leaders achieve a degree of independent perspective without demanding months of discussion and outside analysis to help them get to that point by producing credible, reasonably accurate estimates of local effects that do not require extensive prior knowledge of technical matters; estimates will include the impact that increased use of woody biomass would have on the condition of local forests, air quality, highway traffic, and local employment, income, and tax revenues.  FREE  READ MORE and MORE   Lite version web page,

World Resources Institute's Oil Palm Plantation Mapping Tools

At the 10th Annual Meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), WRI launched two new online mapping applications designed to help the palm oil industry grow while avoiding deforestation. These free tools enable palm oil producers, buyers, investors, and government agencies to easily identify and evaluate locations in Indonesia where they can develop plantations on already-degraded land rather than on currently forested areas. By siting oil palm plantations on degraded or “low-carbon” lands, developers can avoid the need to clear remaining natural forests to meet the growing global demand for palm oil. The first application, the Forest Cover Analyzer, allows users to assess forest cover, forest cover change, and legal status in Indonesian Borneo. For the first time, companies can conduct their own online assessments to identify risks to sustainable palm oil production in a particular area. For example, users can determine whether a specific tract is likely to contain high-conservation value forest, or if it would be difficult to develop the area according to RSPO principles and criteria. By providing transparent and objective data on forest cover change, the Analyzer creates an incentive to avoid forested areas when establishing plantations. The second application, the Suitability Mapper, allows palm oil producers, investors, and government spatial planners to locate tracts of low-carbon “degraded lands” that are potentially suitable for sustainable oil palm production. By “degraded,” we mean land where the natural vegetation—typically forests—was cleared years ago and where the forests did not recover. “Degraded” in this sense does not mean “poor soil quality,” but rather that the area has low carbon stocks, little biodiversity, and is not currently under cultivation. Alang-alang grasslands are an example of such areas in Indonesia.  READ MORE

GREET (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation) model

To fully evaluate energy and emission impacts of advanced vehicle technologies and new transportation fuels, the fuel cycle from wells to wheels and the vehicle cycle through material recovery and vehicle disposal need to be considered. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Argonne has developed a full life-cycle model called GREET (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation). It allows researchers and analysts to evaluate various vehicle and fuel combinations on a full fuel-cycle/vehicle-cycle basis. The first version of GREET was released in 1996. Since then, Argonne has continued to update and expand the model. The most recent GREET versions are the GREET 1 2012 version for fuel-cycle analysis and GREET 2.7 version for vehicle-cycle analysis. GREET was developed as a multidimensional spreadsheet model in Microsoft Excel. This public domain model is available free of charge for anyone to use.  READ MORE *****

Federal BioProducts Procurement via USDA BioPreferred Program

The purpose of the USDA BioPreferred® program is to promote the increased purchase and use of biobased products. The program spurs economic development -- creating new jobs and providing new markets for farm commodities. The increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products reduces our nation's reliance on petroleum, increases the use of renewable agriculture resources, and may contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.   The USDA BioPreferred program has two major initiatives:   Product Labeling   USDA certifies and awards labels to qualifying products to increase consumer recognition of biobased products.  Federal Procurement Preference    USDA designates categories of biobased products that are afforded preference by Federal agencies when making purchasing decisions. If you are interested in suggesting a new product category for designation, contact USDA.  

Climate Change Trillionth Tonne Calculator

If temperatures rise by 2°C per trillion tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere, to avoid more than 2°C of warming we need to limit total cumulative emissions to below 1,000,000,000,000 tonnes of carbon.  The Oxford e-Research Centre, with data provided by the Department of Physics, University of Oxford, posted a calculator which continuously calculates and displays the date that, based on emission trends over the past 20 years, we expect the 1,000,000,000,000th tonne will be emitted.  It also calculates and displays the estimated cumulative emissions from fossil fuel use, cement production and land-use change since industrialization.  You can change inputs and see the revised estimates.   READ MORE