Just how green energy is biomass

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 12 August 2018

Biomass, which is now drawing more attention, is an energy source derived from organic materials such as animal or plant matter. Proponents believe that benefits of biomass energy are the keys to fighting climate change. Even though biomass technology requires the process of burning biomass materials, this biomass energy production only emits low levels of carbon.

What are the benefits?

There are quite a few reasons why biomass is a rising star in renewable energy. First, waste residues always exist. What is the most common biomass material? Scrap lumber, forest debris, certain crops, manure and other types of waste residues are all common biomass materials that make up excellent biomass fuels. With a constant supply of waste—from construction and demolition activities, to municipal solid waste—green energy production can go on and on. The second one of the advantages of biomass energy is money saving. Energy harnessed from biomass is inexpensive compared to unrenewable fossil fuels. Typically, biomass fuels cost about 1/3 less than fossil fuels doing the same job. This means we can spend 1/3 less every year. In the long term, this adds up to a considerable saving. Third, biomass energy is clean and carbon neutral. Biomass is a part of the carbon cycle. There is a balance between the amount of carbon that the biomass fuels release into the atmosphere and the amount that other plants extract from it. Thus, biomass fuels do not contribute to global warming. The biomass environmental impact is relatively positive.

How does biomass generate energy?

There are several ways to produce biomass electric power generation, namely to convert biomass to electricity. First, we can simply burn the biomass fuels, heat water to steam and sent the steam through a turbine, which later generates electricity. Second, biomass energy can be produced by direct combustion and converted into liquid biofuels for gas harvesting. The gasification process turns wet biomass, such as food waste and manure, into methane (CH4). Both methane and synthesis gas (syngas) can be used in a gas engine or a gas turbine for electricity production. Since biomass energy generating process involves inflammable gases like CH4, it is a source of energy to be developed with caution.

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