Bioenergy Resources from the Sun Grant Initiative

The Sun Grant Initiative is a national network of land-grant universities and national laboratories partnering to help build a bio-based economy.

The Sun Grant Initiative facilitates communication and partnership development between universities, national laboratories, federal and state governments, the private sector and public interest groups to lead the nation towards a renewable, sustainable, domestic energy industry. Sun Grant Centers are also charged with reviving America’s farming communities by placing an emphasis on rural economic development through the production of biobased renewable energy feedstocks.

This index links to resources developed with support from the Sun Grant Initiative.


Sun Grant BioWeb

Sun Grant BioWeb logo

The Sun Grant BioWeb is a non-commercial, educational website that provides current information about biomass resources for bioenergy and bioproducts.  The 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, and use; and biomass economics and policy. Resources are presented at three different levels: At a Glance, General and Technical.

SunGrant Initiative Research and Development Programs and Projects

Regional Centers funded research and development projects from 2007-2011, through a competitive grants program.  The research portfolios contain experiments in the areas of feedstock development, bio-conversion processes, systems analysis, economics, environment and policy.

Willowpedia: A Willow Energy Crop Information Resource at Cornell University

Willowpedia HeaderKnowledge-base from the academic study and commercial use of shrub willow (Salix spp.) as a sustainable feedstock crop for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts, as well as for environmental engineering and horticultural applications.  Produced by Dr. Larry Smart, the site facilitates a global exchange of knowledge among the entire willow community and the public.

PREMNET: Pennsylvania Renewable Energy Monitoring Network

PREMNET is a real-time energy monitoring tool designed to measure and report the impacts of renewable energy projects throughout Pennsylvania. Data from monitoring equipment installed at selected sites show petroleum savings, energy use, cost savings, and CO2 emissions avoided; developed by Dan Ciolkosz, Penn State Extension.

Biomass Densification/ Pelletization website

Info to help farmers and small operators to understand how to successfully produce high quality pellets from crop residues, perennial grasses, and other readily available biomass feedstocks.  Directed by Dan Ciolkosz, Penn State Extension, student researcher findings can be found in this Research Summary: Small Scale Biomass Pellet Production Project.

Farm Energy Multi-media Archive on

eXtension Farm Energy Media ArchiveMedia Gallery provides educational resources on agricultural energy production and use; bringing together materials from many specialists and practitioners.  The gallery is a venue for sharing between colleagues and stakeholders, using a Creative Commons license.  Video, webinars and images can be easily searched, up and downloaded, embedded or linked to. Produced by Sue Hawkins, University of Vermont.


Northeast Bioenergy Webinar Series

Shrub Willow Harvest

Hosted by Mike Jacobson, Penn State Extension, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, featuring specialists from Universities, Agencies and the private sector.  The series began as a Sun Grant project with an emphasis on woody biomass; it continues now through the NEWBio Project.

On-line Educational Programming and Agricultural Bioenergy

Produced by William Sciarappa, Rutgers University; the presentations feature specialists at a variety of conferences and Extension meetings. Video presentations and slides are available on the eXtension Farm Energy Media Archive


Race to the Pump - SunGrant gameBiofuels: The Race to the Pump!

This Biofuels Teaching Game was developed at Cornell University in the Northeast Sun Grant Institute of Excellence at Cornell.  It is designed to teach K-12 students the concepts and steps involved in converting various biological starting materials into biobased transportation fuels – from the farm to the fuel pump. The game also emphasizes the important benefits of research by allowing “quick advances” for players who land on a “Cornell R&D” spot and are advanced more rapidly toward the goal. The biofuel pump at the end of the game states “We all win!” reminding us of the ecological benefits that use of biofuels will bring to the whole planet. Biofuels are a renewable energy form with no net carbon emissions.

Bio-Fuel Educational Outreach Tool

To meet the needs of educators for research-driven information on renewable energy technology, Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County has launched a new Bio-Fuels Education outreach tool geared for 8th/9th grades.

This is an electronically-available lesson that provides educators a complete, learning-standard ready information package. The package consists of a Smartboard lesson, “Future Fuels” video and a comprehensive Teachers Guide. The lesson provides objectives; information; vocabulary; resources; and classroom activities related to cellulosic ethanol production for liquid transportation fuel development.  

4-H STEM Bioenergy curriculum

This web-based resource will help our next generation of leaders develop an awareness and appreciation for a sustainable energy future. It is leader-directed curriculum, targeting youth Kindergarten through 5th grade. Developed by Scott D. Scheer, the Ohio State University, the material consists of three bioenergy curriculum pieces in these content areas:




The resources indexed on this page were developed with the support of the Sun Grant Initiative, with funding from:      


US Dept. of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation

Dept. of Energy

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of Agriculture