More On Our Biogas Map

By Anna Simet | August 08, 2014

Since the launching of Biomass Magazine’s biogas map a couple of weeks ago, we’ve had a large volume of input coming in, so I thought I would use this blog entry to address some of the comments and concerns.

If you’re not familiar, here’s a link to a short story I wrote about it.

Here are a few points I would like to bring to your attention:

1)  If your digester is not on a farm or a wastewater treatment plant, we haven’t added those to the map yet. While phase one of our data collection efforts just involved those two, we’re planning to quickly expand to the rest. As you can imagine, it’s taking us a while, and this is a more organized approach. (However, if you ARE an on-farm digester or a WWTP, please email me to let me know we missed you.)

2) There are existing maps of biogas facilities out there—we know that. And these are good resources. However, ours is different, for a few reasons. One is that we use Google Imaging with the latitude and longitude of the facility, so one can click and pull up a real view to check out exactly where it is and how it is set up (or that it simply exists). Many existing maps use data drawn from places like the U.S. EPA Agstar, and we did use that and any other data we could find as starting points. However, as data inevitable quickly becomes, some of that information was outdated. We found digesters and projects listed that actually never happened, and as it commonly does in all industry sectors, some project parameters changed during development. Said one farmer who responded to our inquiry about a digester that was thought to be: “We were planning on a digester, but in the end, the economics just didn’t pencil out.”

3) We are going to add even more data. While we posted an initial round of information, as we do with all of our map products, we are reaching out directly to real people involved with each operation, to get all of the specifics we can. Not what we find by running an Internet search, but data collected directly from the source. That’s the best way to ensure the information we are giving you is as accurate as possible.

I think that wraps it up for now, but keep the feedback coming. Stay tuned for the second round of biogas map data—we’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready.