» Biofuels

Department of Energy Biomass Program

Biomass is a clean, renewable energy source that can help to significantly diversify transportation fuels in the United States. The Biomass Program is helping transform the nation’s renewable and abundant biomass resources into cost-competitive, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Read More

Building an Ethanol Plant in Illinois

Library Holdings. A guide to permit requirements, funding opportunities, and other considerations. Read More

Physicochemical Characterization of Rice Straw Pretreated with Sodium Hydroxide in the Solid State for Enhancing Biogas Production

An academic paper on the biogas yield of rice straw during anaerobic digestion can be substantially increased through solid-state sodium hydroxide (NaOH) pretreatment. This study was conducted to explore the mechanisms of biogas yield enhancement. The chemical compositions of the pretreated rice straw were first analyzed. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), hydrogen-1 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and gas permeation chromatography (GPC) were then used to investigate the changes of chemical structures and physical characteristics of lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose. The results showed that the biogas yield of 6% NaOH-treated rice straw was increased by 27.3-64.5%. The enhancement of the biogas yield was attributed to the improvement of biodegradability of the rice straw through NaOH pretreatment. Degradation of 16.4% cellulose, 36.8% hemicellulose, and 28.4% lignin was observed, while water-soluble substances were increased by 122.5%. The ester bond of lignin-carbohydrate complexes (LCCs) was destroyed through the hydrolysis reaction, releasing more cellulose for biogas production. The linkages of interunits and the functional groups of lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose were either broken down or destroyed, leading to significant changes of chemical structures. The original lignin with a large molecular weight and three-dimensional network structure became one with a small molecular weight and linear structure after NaOH pretreatment. The cellulosic crystal style was not obviously changed, but the crystallinity of cellulose increased. The changes of chemical compositions, chemical structures, and physical characteristics made rice straw become more available and biodegradable and thus were responsible for the enhancement of the biogas yield. Read More

Overview: Algae Oil to Biofuels

•Microalgae were first mass cultured on rooftop at MIT during the early 1950s, first mention of algae biofuels in report of that project. •Methane from algae studied at U.C. Berkeley during the 1950s, Initial conceptual process and systems analysis published 1960 •The energy shocks of the 1970s led renewed study of microalgae biofuels, H2 and methane in combination with wastewater treatment •From 1980 to 1995, the U.S. DOE-NREL ASP for microalgae oil production. Initial issue: open ponds vs. closed photobioreactors. The ASP culminated in open pond pilot plant at Roswell, New Mexico •Algae oil production is still a long-term R&D goal. Like the ASP a future program should be an open collaboration by researchers from academia, national laboratories and industry, not inhibited by concerns about IP or commercial interests. Read More

ATEEC Environmental & Energy Resources for Teachers

The ATEEC website provides a variety of downloadable documents — many of them free — for both community college faculty and K-12 teachers. These lesson plans, curricula, instructional materials, presentations, videos, activities, etc. are on energy and environmental topics. Read More

Biofuel Debate: Food vs. Energy?

In a world increasingly concerned about national security and climate change, the appeal of biofuels [this article will focus on liquid biofuels produced as substitutes for gasoline or diesel] has grown apace. Biofuels hold the potential to: (1) serve as a carbon neutral and renewable replacement for the transport fuels now responsible for 20% of CO2 emissions, (2) improve national energy security by reducing the US dependency on imported oil, and (3) create new opportunities to revitalize the agricultural sector. Read More

Alternative Energy Technology: Biofuels

Since 2002, CCCC has been a leader in Biofuels education on the east coast. CCCC offers workshops, continuing education, and curriculum programs to suit the needs of students and industry. CCCC’s focus on sustainable fuel production is at the heart of the program, offering students the opportunity to learn responsible and sustainable fuel production practices. Fall 2008 CCCC began offering an associate degree in Alternative Energy Technology: Biofuels. This program is designed to equip students with the skills needed for a career in the growing biofuels industry. Read More

Biofuels Compendium - Ethanol - Fate And Transport

These resources provide information regarding the fate and transport of ethanol-blended fuels. For other ethanol topics, please visit the biofuels compendium ethanol page or select a different subject area from the Quick Links menu on the right Read More

Even with Great Tech, No Easy Answers on Energy

A number of factors–a swelling world population with more people aspiring to higher standards of living, limited resources, and a pressing need to curb pollutants–mean that the world needs more efficient and cleaner sources of energy, according to a panel of experts at the EmTech technology conference here on Thursday. Read More

Bioenergy - Lab Manual: Introduction to Biodiesel Fuel

This lab manual was developed by instructors for the course Introduction to Biodiesel Fuel. It contains a variety of procedures and tests, including titration of used oil feedstocks, neutralization and washing of biodiesel, carbon residue test, cloud point test, copper corrosion test, and more. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu