The use of biomass is among the oldest and most diverse sources of renewable energy. Biomass can be used for generating electricity, transportation fuel, or space heating. To learn more about the diverse use of biomass please visit the DOE’s Energy Saver’s Biomass Page
Large-scale use of biomass in Wyoming
Currently, no large-scale biomass electricity or central heating systems are located in Wyoming. Wyoming does have one operating ethanol plant located in Torrington.
To learn more about large-scale of use of biomass to produce energy, including advances in biofuel production, please visit the DOE’s Biomass Program.
Using wood waste, such as pine beetle killed trees, is also of interest in Wyoming. More research-based information is available from eXtension Wood Energy Community of Practice.
Small-scale use of biomass in Wyoming
Space Heating – Many Wyomingites have long used wood for heating homes and businesses. Advances in design have improved both efficiency and emissions. More information about design and potential uses is available from DOE Energy Saver’s.
Biofuels – Ethanol and biodiesel are the primary fuels created from biomass, but biodiesel is typically the fuel that can be created in small quantities by individuals or small groups. Biodiesel is made from animal fat or vegetable oils and can be used as a substitute for petroleum diesel.
If you are interested in making your own biodiesel, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service provides useful information.
If you are interested in learning more about Wyoming’s oilseed industry serving as feedstock for biodiesel, please review the Wyoming Business Council’s Oilseed Opportunities for Wyoming.
Look for a UW study of on-farm biodiesel production soon!