A material that is used as a basis of manufactor is feedstock. Bioenergy is a product of biomass feedstocks, which are organic resources and are the key of creating bioenergy. Many things can be used as biomass feedstocks such as agricultural/energy crops and waste/opportunity fuels.
Agricultural/Energy Crops: Many things can be used to produce bioenergy and biofuels; even crops that are planted for food.
In the United States, the primary biomass feedstock to create ethanol is corn and a few other products. When corn isn’t available, Sorghum can be used as an alternative. 15 percent of Sorghum grain is being used in eight production plants as of 2008 instead of the traditional corn. Europe’s primary feedstock to make biodiesel is Rapeseed. For biodiesel in the United States, soybeans and soybean oil are being used for the primary biomass feedstock. Sugarcane is used in Brazil to produce ethanol and for process heat they use the sugarcane residue.
“Energy crops”, used as biomass feedstocks, are planted and harvested specifically for creation of bioenergy. From all or part of the plant, energy is created whether it is electricity or liquid fuels. Using specific crops for energy productions you will have a consistent moisture content, heat content, processing characteristics and it will be more cost effective. New energy crops include:
Microalgae: Microalgae produce oils that can be converted into jet fuel or diesel fuel (National Renewable Energy Laboratory. With higher lipid content, the microalgae can be used for, and much more suited for, liquid fuel.
There are a few benefits to microalgae; they are highly productive, don’t use agricultural land or products, and are carbon-neutral. More than 50 companies are researching microalgal oil production, development of new bioreactors, and use of biotechnologies.
Switchgrass, Poplar and Willow Trees: For the greatest potential for dedicated bioenergy in a wide geographic range, none of these are being grown commercially in the United States as of yet. About 190 million acres of land in the United States can be used to produce energy crops, which is estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy , such as; switchgrass, poplar, and willow trees. Grown on some Conservation Reserve Program 1 land in Midwest and South states, switchgrass can be planted and harvested for significant biopower.