Biomass is organic matter of recent origin. It doesn’t include fossil fuels, which have taken millions of years to evolve. The CO2 released when energy is generated from biomass is balanced by that absorbed during the fuels production. This is why it is considered to be a carbon neutral process.
Biomass is often called ‘bioenergy’ or ‘biofuels’. These biofuels are produced from organic materials, either directly from plants or indirectly from industrial, commercial, domestic or agricultural products.
Biofuels fall into two main categories:
Wood biomassﾧ includes forest products, untreated wood products, energy crops, short rotation coppice (SRC) e.g. willow.
Non-wood biomass includes animal waste, industrial and biodegradable municipal products from food processing and high energy crops, e.g. rape, sugar cane, maize.
Renewable Energy Source
Biomass energyﾧ is generated from organic material, plant or animal waste, which is burned to provide energy, e.g. heat & electricity. Since they come from living sources, these products potentially never run out which makes biomass a renewable energy source.
Better for the environment than fossil fuels
The burning of biomass does release carbon dioxide but captures carbon dioxide for its own growth. Carbon dioxide released by fossil fuel is released into the atmosphere and are harmful to the environment. Many energy sources struggle to control their carbon dioxide emissions as these can cause harm to the ozone layer and increase the effects of greenhouse gases.
Less Dependency on Fossil Fuels
Using biomass as an alternate source of fuel reduces our dependency on fossil fuels which is better for the planet and more cost effective.
Very Easily Available
Biomass is cheap and readily available source of energy. If the trees are replaced, biomass can be a long-term, sustainable energy source.
By burning biomass for energy, we can take waste that is harmful to the...