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New DOE bioenergy Web site has ORNL roots

January 25, 2011 — Policy makers, industry, researchers and the public have a new way to gain and share information about biofuels with the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework, or KDF, developed by a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and sponsored by the Department of Energy.

The new site ( provides a wealth of information ranging from reports, technical data and a list of experts to the nearest refinery or ethanol fueling station, said Budhendra Bhaduri of ORNL's Geographic Information Science and Technology group and the principal investigator of the project.

"This new tool connects data, knowledge and people in what we expect will become a catalyst that allows interested parties to come together and accelerate the process of developing homegrown, sustainable and plentiful biofuels," Bhaduri said.

Specific goals include:

* to provide ready access to the status of bioenergy in the United States;* to distribute data needed for assessments;* to support emerging bioindustry by providing an integrative perspective;* to support policymaking by visualizing the outcomes of proposed policies;* to define where research or demonstration funds should be targeted; and,* to foster education and outreach.

"The Bioenergy KDF harnesses Web. 2.0 and social networking technologies with customized online collaboration features for sharing and linking geographic and non-geographic digital content and resources," said ORNL's Rahul Ramachandran, the chief technology architect of the KDF.

Registered users will be able to contribute additional data sets that can be shared, growing the body of knowledge, better informing this growing industry and eliminating information silos.

"For years, researchers have had to pretty much guess at what industry wants, so this provides a means for them to come together with the latest information and a way to exchange ideas, much the way people use today's social media outlets," Bhaduri said.

The first release of Bioenergy KDF will be followed by incremental releases as new features and capabilities become available.

DOE will host a Webinar Feb. 8 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST to demonstrate the system. The session will include an overview, case studies of how it may be used and a demonstration of its user interface. While the Webinar is free, it requires registration.

Partners in the KDF project are Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and several universities. 

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science