The KDF Billion-Ton API: Forecasting Prices for Biofuels

Greg Bates, November 9th, 2012

KDF Billion-TonYou can find the spot price and futures contracts for Brent crude. How about for biofuel? Though it does not focus on spot pricing, the KDF Billion-Ton API from the U.S. Department of Energy tracks forces involved in projecting this and that could identify business opportunities for creating facilities involved in biofuel’s production. The Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF) API uses XML as the default, with the JSON, JSONP and XML data serialization formats. The Bioenergy website provides tools and apps to track the supply chain and the resource supply involved in creating biofuels.

While oil has its complications in price, famously including geopolitical considerations, biofuels present their own complexity, with price influenced by biomass crop projections for corn and soybeans, and rapidly changing technology.

After a summer of devastating drought that hit the U.S. corn crop hard, biofuels have endured some controversy. Yet the KDF maintains that in addition to being good for national security, jobs, and the economy, biofuels also help fight global warming:

Ethanol made from cellulosic feedstocks, such as switchgrass, or agricultural residues such as corn stover, has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 86%.

Either way, if climate change continues to create droughts, an API that monitors data involved in biofuel’s potentially volatile pricing could come in handy.

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