Renewable Energy Certificate
What are green technologies?Bioenergy
Bioenergy is renewable energy that is derived from biological sources. This energy is derived from biomass which is organic material that has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy. Biomass can include wood, manure, sugarcane, agricultural grains, and a variety of available organic products that can grow in local climate and weather conditions. Renewable organic resources, unlike energy derived from oil, are constantly replenished in a sustainable life cycle and never run out. Biomass can be used to produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts:
Biofuels is biomass, usually plant sugars or starches that are converted to liquid fuels for use in transportation or are gases like methanol derived from decaying organic matter. Ethanol and biodiesel fuels can be produced from many sources including corn, sugarcane, soybeans, or recycled vegetable oils. The future of biofuels lies in converting cellulosic materials, like switchgrass and corn stover, directly into ethanol by fermenting and breaking down the cellulose in plant cells. Another future application is the commercial development and production of biodiesel from algae and other plant-derived fats. Energy from the anaerobic digestion of manure or landfill wastes in the form of methane can be collected and used to produce electricity.
Biomass power technologies convert renewable biomass fuels into heat and electricity using processes similar to that used with fossil fuels. Burning wood to heat our homes is an example. Large-scale projects can use any combustible material to produce electricity, heat for industrial processes, or both as in cogeneration projects like the EIU Renewable Energy Center plant. Steam generation technology to produce electricity is very dependable and proven. In addition, biomass gasifiers can produce gas as fuel that can be burned or used in fuel cells.
Bioproducts produced from biomass could replace the chemical feedstocks now derived from fossil fuels. Plastics, chemicals, and composite materials from renewable resources could be produced from agricultural crops and residues, trees and forest products, grasses, animal wastes, and organic municipal solid wastes. This is a growing field where production agriculture, research, and industry expertise will combine to produce energy-efficient and cost-competitive products to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Lake Land offers TEC 064, Bioenergy and TEC 066, Resource Sustainability as courses in the new green technology curriculum. They deal with the fundamentals of energy use and production from biogas, biofuels, and biomass including production methods, domestic and industrial uses, and sustainability issues related to the needs of future generations.
Career pathways for those interested in bioenergy could include production agriculture, harvesting technologies, storage, and management, supply-chain management, production facility laboratory services, labor, or management, fuel handling, transportation, distribution, or production, enzyme and fermentation biology, or dozens of other possibilities.
Energy Efficiency and Weatherization
Renewable and Alternative Energy
Smart Grid Technology
Future of Green Jobs
Lake Land College’s Technology faculty are creating programs and courses that meet current technical demands as well as the business side of the growing sustainability field. The programs span from learning technical skills, installing renewable energy systems, and servicing equipment to gaining business knowledge to run sustainable offices, handle sales or market new renewable energy products and services.
Future courses and programs will include training in low-impact, energy efficient construction techniques, integration of digital networks in home construction, training in SCADA, wind energy, smart grid operation, renewable & alternative energy, energy efficiency & weatherization, resource sustainability, solar thermal applications, bioenergy, and site assessment for renewable energy.
Three new certificates and one degree program have been developed will provide opportunities to specialize in green technology, earn an associate degree, or prepare for additional training at a four-year college or university.
Director of Sustainability
Coordinator Special Projects
Timothy Van Dyke
Division Chair Technology/Civil Engineering Tech Instructor
Linda Von Behren
Associate Vice President for Workforce Development