Data and Tools to Better Evaluate Biogas Potential

By Amanda Bilek, Biomass Magazine.

Biogas projects come in all shapes and sizes and are implemented across a variety of industrial, municipal and agricultural applications. For a biogas project, there is no “one size fits all”. The variety of biogas feedstock sources and end-use applications sets it apart from other biomass project configurations. However, the variations among operational and potential biogas projects make it difficult to adequately access the resource potential for this underutilized renewable energy resource. Individual states are taking the lead to better evaluate and assess potential biogas projects. 

In the past year, the state of Iowa has worked to assess their biogas resource. I recently participated in a webinar where the Iowa Biogas Assessment Model was profiled. The model is an online, GIS, interactive map where a user can click on different layers of data to study  the biogas resource or conduct an initial screen of where a potential project could be sited based on feedstock and infrastructure availability within a certain geography. IBAM was developed by EcoEngineers under contract with the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The tool is available at