These maps illustrate the biomass resources generated in the United States by county. Biomass feedstock data are analyzed both statistically and graphically using a geographic information system (GIS). The following feedstock categories are evaluated: crop residues, forest residues, primary and secondary mill residues, urban wood waste, and methane emissions from animal manure, landfills, wastewater treatment, and industrial, institutional, and commercial organic waste (e.g. food waste).
Solid Biomass Resources in the United States
Solid Biomass Resources by County
Solid Biomass Resources per Square Kilometer
These maps illustrate the solid biomass resources in the United States by county and per square kilometer. They include the following feedstock categories: crop residues (2012) forest and primary mill residues (2012), secondary mill residues (2012), and urban wood waste (2012).
This map illustrates the harvesting crop residues from corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, sorghum, barley, oats, rice, rye, canola, dry edible beans, peanuts, safflower, sunflower, sugarcane, and flaxseed by county. The crop residues are estimated using total crop production (data from USDA 2012 Census), crop to residue ratio, and moisture content. It assumes that only 35% of the total residue could be collected as biomass. The remaining portion is to be left on the field to maintain ecological and agricultural functions.
This category includes logging residues and other removable material left after carrying out silviculture operations and site conversions. Logging residue comprises unused portions of trees, cut or killed by logging and left in the woods. Other removals are the unutilized wood volume of trees cut or otherwise killed by cultural operations (e.g., pre-commercial thinnings) or land-clearings to non-forest uses. This map illustrates 65% of logging residues and 50% of other removals which is the portion that could be collected as biomass. The remaining portion is to be left on the field to maintain ecological functions. Source: USDA, Forest Service's Timber Product Output database, 2012.
Primary mill residues
Primary mill residues include wood materials (coarse and fine) and bark generated at manufacturing plants (primary wood-using mills) when round wood products are processed into primary wood products, such as slabs, edgings, trimmings, sawdust, veneer clippings and cores, and pulp screenings. This map illustrates the total amount of primary mill residues (used and unused) by county. Note that most of this resource is currently utilized. Source: USDA, Forest Service's Timber Product Output database, 2012.
Secondary mill residues
Secondary mill residues include wood scraps and sawdust from woodworking shops — furniture factories, wood container and pallet mills, and wholesale lumberyards. Data on the number of businesses by county was gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 County Business Patterns and further processed to estimate the amount of secondary mill residues by county.
Urban wood waste
Urban wood waste includes wood material from MSW (wood chips and pallets), utility tree trimming and/or private tree companies, and construction and demolition sites. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau (2012 population data); BioCycle Journal: "State of Garbage in America", January 2008; and County Business Patterns 2012 was used and further processed to estimate the amount of urban wood waste by county.
Methane potential from biogas sources
This map illustrates the methane generation potential by county from the following biogas sources: landfills, animal manure; wastewater treatment; and industrial, institutional, and commercial organic waste (IIC).
Methane emissions from landfills
The methane emissions are estimated at each landfill considering total waste in place, status (open or closed), and waste acceptance rate using data from EPA's EMOP database (as of April 2013), and then aggregated to county level. Note: this analysis includes "candidate" landfills only. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) defines a candidate landfill as one that is accepting waste or has been closed for five years or less, has at least one million tons of waste, and does not have an operational or under-construction project; candidate landfills are also designated based on actual interest or planning.
Methane generation potential from animal manure
The following animal types were included in this analysis: dairy cows, hogs, and chickens (broilers). The methane generation potential was calculated by animal type and manure management system at county level using data from the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2007 Census.
Methane generation potential from wastewater treatment
This analysis estimates the methane generation potential of wastewater treatment plants using methodology from the EPA's Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011 and data from the EPA Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (2008). The results were further aggregated to county level.
Methane generation potential from industrial, institutional, and commercial organic wastes
This analysis estimates the methane generation potential from food manufacturing and wholesalers (e.g. fruit and vegetable canneries, dairy creameries, meat packing and processors, etc.), as well as institutional facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, educational and correctional facilities. It uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau's County Business Patterns 2012, and the Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) 2012 which is further processed to estimate the amount of these resources by county.
Milbrandt, A., "A Geographic Perspective on the Current Biomass Resource Availability in the United States". NREL/TP-560-39181, December 2005. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden CO.
Saur, G.; Milbrandt, A., "Renewable Hydrogen Potential from Biogas in the United States". NREL/TP-5400-60283, July 2014. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO.
"Biogas Potential in the United States" (Brochure). NREL/FS-6A20-60178, October 2013, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Energy Analysis, Golden, CO.
For Geographic Information System (GIS) biomass resource data, access the Data Resources page.
For interactive maps and tools for viewing maps and data, access the Data Visualization and Tools page.
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