Biomass Information on Advantages of Bio-Energy

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Advantages of Biomass Energy

Humans have used biofuels for thousands of years. For a long time, wood was the only fuel we used for cooking and heating, and in many parts of the world, it still is. But, there is much more than wood that we can use to create energy: various crops, crop residues, wood residues, animal wastes and organic waste in the landfills. All these organic materials are called biomass feedstock - materials from which we can create biomass fuels or biofuels. New biomass information is reaching us daily, as scientists are looking for the most efficient and most sustainable way of using biomass for energy.

Advantages of Biomass as Energy Source

  1. Our entire civilization is based on the use of non-sustainable, highly polluting fossil fuel. As our energy needs grow, we are pressed to find a truly sustainable energy source. Solar, wind, waves, hydropower, geothermal energy and various forms of biomass are all potential solutions.
  2. As we are learning to use biomass more efficiently, we are discovering the potential of using methane naturally produced by the decomposition of organic waste. When released to the atmosphere, methane is one of the most powerful greenhouse gasses. Trapped and used as fuel, it is clean, cheap and sustainable. Organic waste makes 30 percents of our landfills.
  3. While fossil-fuel exists in a very limited number of locations on the planet, biomass is widely available around the world. In fact, the poorest countries have the most potential for the unlimited energy from biomass.
  4. Conversion of biomass into energy source can create a significant number of jobs, particularly in rural areas.
  5. Biofuels are biodegradable, so the accidental spills are safe to the environment.
  6. Burning biofuels creates significantly less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels, especially as we are developing more efficient ways for its burning.

How is Biomass converted into Energy?

Clean biomass pellets are one green solution

The conversion of biomass to energy is going through many changes, as we are learning from our mistakes. We know that we can use biomass to feed power plants to create electricity, but for this to be viable solution we need technology that ensures that burning biomass does not create more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. Burning biomass also creates ashes, particulates that add to the greenhouse effects. New forms of clean biomass-based fuel, such as biomass pellets, are one of the solutions.

More effective use of biomass is through fuel cells. Fuel cells can be used to create electricity and heat by using biomass, converted to biogas, hydrogen or methanol.

At the moment, there are more than 350 power plants in the US that are producing 7000 megawatts of power using biomass as fuel.

Green Solution

Biomass converted to fuel for vehicles has been on the market for quite some time. This, so called "first generation biofuel" was mostly made from food crops like sugar cane, corn, soybean and wheat. In the world in which malnutrition and hunger affecting huge part of the population, using food for fuels is not an acceptable solution.

As we acquire more biomass information, we are becoming increasingly aware that there is a more "green" solution. The best direction for the development of biofuels as a sustainable energy source is the use of organic waste, manure, pond scum and other organic materials that cannot be used for food and would only add to the already huge problem of disposing of solid waste.

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A very sustainable energy source for biofuels is the use of organic waste, manure, pond scum and other organic materials