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Ag sites on the Internet


Want to be “chock fuel” of information on alternative ag-based energy? Speed to these selected Web sites — information ranges from do-it-yourself biodiesel to political resources to fun games. AURI’s site has a biodiesel section as well, so take a few minutes to drop by

Not a couch potato

The veggie van’s a vehicle fueled with used oil from fast food restaurants, and this is a site dedicated to vegetable and used oil-based fuels. Attend a workshop on how to convert a diesel engine to run on 100 percent vegetable oil. Or order “From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank,” a basic how-to on making your very own biodiesel. Or just sign up for a free e-newsletter and join the discussion forum.

Facts on biodiesel

If you’re looking for to-the-point information on biodiesel and ethanol, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association contains a Biodiesel Information Centre site. It’s small, but includes fact sheets on ethanol manufacturing, quality and retailing, and biodiesel marketing and producers. “What’s New” contains a selection of articles about the alternative fuels industry and information on ag fuel development in Canada.

Where’s the E-85?

The Alternative Fuels Data Center covers the bases. Find where fleet managers can purchase alternative fuel vehicles, regulations on alternative fuel use, a list of locations to purchase fuels such as E-85 and M-85, or surf newsletters and magazine articles for more information. Can’t find what you need on-line? Call the National Alternative Fuels Hotline, or fill out their request form and get a response in a day or two.

Kids on a quest

Energy Quest is a kaleidoscopic page with stories and science projects for kids of all ages. Young and young-at-heart alike can find coloring pictures, write to an advice column about energy saving or do crosswords and other puzzles. Each science project contains a list of supplies and directions. Kids can build a battery with “lemon power” or make their own lightning, for instance.

Save on the light bill

Whether you’re trying to cut the light bill or choosing the right windows for energy performance, the California Energy Commission has answers on its Consumer Energy Center site. The site not only offers help on conserving energy, but also lists programs for rebates, grants and loans, and contains a glossary of terms and an energy bookstore. A well-rounded resource for consumer energy issues.

Biomass info clearinghouse

The Biomass Resource Information Clearinghouse provides high-quality biomass resource data for the United States to the energy community. The goal is to create an atlas of resources — developing a national database on how much biomass is available, county by county. BRIC offers documentation and meeting notes from the Biomass Resource Assessment Task Review, a search engine, resource maps and — soon — classified ads.

DOE biofuels resource

The U.S. Department of Energy has created a site covering a range of biofuel-related topics, including history, legislation, resources and market issues. The Biofuels Information Center portion accesses information about the R & D efforts of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, including photos, publications and recent news.

Trees and plants

The Bioenergy Information Network is the place for information about fast-growing trees, grasses and ag residues for fuels and power. They’ve sponsored research, development, demonstration and commercialization activities to encourage biofuels in transportation. Browsers can search through BIN’s publications, visit the forum discussions, read info on their programs and research, or peek at their image gallery.