What is Biomass Energy
Biomass energy is another form of renewable energy source and it is derived from living or dead organisms like plants, waste and alcohol mostly. Biomass energy is getting widespread popularity nowadays. Biomass energy source is most often derived from plants either to generate electricity or to produce heat.
Biomass Energy Sources
Biomass energy is derived form various sources which help in generating sufficient energy for use. The various source of generating energy from biomass are wood, waste, alcohol, garbage, landfill gases. Wood is either taken from trees or from the waste of industrial processes. The waste material of industry like paper making is really helpful in providing pulping liquor. The second major source of deriving biomass energy is from the solid waste. This solid waste is either provided by municipality waste or industrial waste. When energy is extracted either from alcohol or from the fiber present in the corn, it is termed as ethanol fuel. This ethanol fuel is really helpful in providing fuel to the cars and farm tractors. Biomass energy can also be extracted from various kinds of plants like polar, willow, hemp, corn, miscanthus, sugar cane, spice trees, eucalyptus, palm oil, switch grass and shorgum.
Conversion of Biomass to Useful Energy
The conversion of Biomass into useful energy can produce heat and electricity moreover it can also be converted to bio fuels. There are three ways of converting waste and wood into useful biomass energy and bio fuels. These methods include thermal conversion, chemical conversion and biochemical conversion. Thermal conversion is the process in which various bio organisms are converted to chemical formations using heat. There are many ways to perform this conversion like combustion, torrefaction, gasification, prolysis, hydro processing and hydrothermal upgrading. A typical thermal biomass plant is 20% to 30% efficient. Chemical conversion is the process of converting various waste materials and liquid slurring into fuels by using chemical reactions.
The natural materials like biomass are made up of molecules. In order to break these molecules, living enzymes like bacteria and other micro organisms are used. These micro organisms are helpful in performing processes like fermentation, compositing and digestion. However the process of producing ethanol from used or fresh oil is known as transesterfication. Biomass fuels are also generated by converting starch and sugar from sugar cane into alcohol. This is the same alcohol which is used for drinking. These processes are still underdevelopment and scientist worldwide is searching for the ways to improve them.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are many advantages and disadvantages of Biomass Energy. The biomass is used and produced throughout the world. It is the most inexpensive way of producing electricity. So far it looks like an inexhaustible natural resource. Biomass energy as a renewable energy source is capable of replacing fossil fuels. Agriculture biomass energy products add more worth to agricultural activities. The growth of biomass plants and crops produces oxygen and utilize more carbon dioxide present in the air. The use of solid waste from industry and municipality helps in lowering the amount of waste. The use of biomass energy can help lower the pressure of buying foreign oil.
Alcohol, methane and ethanol are quiet efficient and environment friendly. However if these biomasses like wood and waste is burnt directly it can discharge immense pollution into the environment. Therefore it can be viable source of global warming. Biomass technology is still under the phase of development. The energy produced in the thermal conversion is the net energy. Hence there are methods require to improve the feasibility of biomass energy projects. In order to increase the potential and availability of biomass energy more research is needed.