Biomass energy refers to the use of organic material such as wood, dung and grass clippings to generate power. There are many uses of biomass energy in the world, some of you which you don’t know that they even exist. You should think of it as the materials that nature provides us with. Crops such as corn or sugarcane can also be used to create biofuels. It is a renewable source of energy because plant matter regrows quickly.
The primary forms of biomass include things such as wood, agricultural products, biodiesel, and solid waste. We can also classify landfill gas and biogas in the same category. So how does biomass energy work? The power comes from the sun and the stored in plants and animals. The plants can absorb energy through a process called photosynthesis. It saves it in the form of chemical energy.
When we burn the biomass, all the chemical energy is released in the form of heat. You can burn it directly or convert it into liquid fuels. Furthermore, you can also turn it into biogas that can burn as fuel. Biofuel liquids include substances such as biodiesel and ethanol.
The main uses of biomass energy in the world
1. Production of electricity
Electricity production is one of the significant applications of biomass. Biomass can generate electricity in two different ways. The first method is done by passing it through a steam turbine from pre-heated water. The steam turbine generates power by its help. Another method is through the gasification of biomass.
Agriculture waste without oxygen is taken into a biomass gasifier. Next high temperatures are introduced to synthesize carbon and hydrogen through a process known as pyrolysis. All the biomass, such as manure and food waste, turns wet. The digestion tank is now able to convert the materials into methane. Both synthesis gas and methane can turn turbines hence produce electricity.
2. Cooking Gas/ Biogas
Biogas is a significant product of biomass. It is mostly used in the kitchen as cooking gas. It refers to a mixture of gases that are obtained from the breakdown of organic matter. Methane gas is its highest constitute while other gases form the rest percentage in small quantities. There are so many materials that can make biogas. Examples of these materials include; food waste, manure, agricultural waste, sewage, and plant material. Anaerobic and methanogen organisms digest these materials inside a closed system. You can refer to this process as biodegradable materials fermentation.
3. Source of revenue
Biomass energy is a source of income for various people in the world. Many homes save bills by using biogas as an alternative. Others use it as an alternatives source of power. Since most materials come from their farms, they can keep some amount of cash. Many companies specialize in the installation and supplying biogas products. Now there is a significant portion of the population in the world that purely relies on biogas. So many jobs have been created, such as engineers, salespeople, and suppliers.
4. Fight pollution
Surprisingly biomass helps to fight pollution. Most people associate it with deforestation and argue that it doesn’t help the environment in any way. But the truth is that biomass is that biogas is sustainable energy that reduces the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It does not contribute to the production of new green gases that weren’t there before. Besides, it does not pose any threats to crops farmlands or the forests.
Many industrial research centers or institutes use it for research purposes. For example, a school can start a project to find out the number of people that make use of biomass. Furthermore, they can study how it affects the environment. The finance industry can study its economic value in a given country or community. Other labs are researching how they can maximize their usage. Research creates better products for the future.
6. Methane gas production
One of the significant biomass by-products is methane gas. When bacteria feed on dead animals and plants, they produce methane gas. It is a tasteless, odorless, but flammable gas. It is generally used to provide light and heat. However, it can also be used to make organic chemicals
7. Waste reduction
The use of biomass helps in waste management. For example, many countries that had tones of sewer waste are turning it to bio –mass-energy. When we increase the number of biomass production plants, then we cone sole the issue of landfills. Another advantage in terms of waste management is that it reduces over-dependence on fossil fuels. So it has a direct impact when it comes to fighting climate change and global warming
8. Production of biofuels
Biomass is the primary source of biofuels. A good example is ethanol and Methanol. These gases are very important, especially in the industrial sector. Ethanol, a significant by-product. Other fuels produced include bio-diesel, which holds extensive uses in the locomotive industry. Because they are renewable sources of energy, they help save the environment. The bio-chemical sector is growing massively.
9. Thermal burning
Another great benefit that we get from the biomass is heat. We can use that heat in our homes or the industries. AT home, we can put the heat on to warm the house during the cold and rainy seasons. Farmers can also use it to heat animals so that they don’t die from cold. There are people in the tropics that use biomass heaters to boil water or to cook food as well. Instead of using gas to warm your home, you can buy a biomass boiler to do the job.
10. Chemical conversion
The pulp and paper industry mainly uses biomass chemical conversion. Because there are many problems in the environment and energy that arise, people are turning to biomass. Among all the uses of biomass energy in the world, the chemical conversion is the most underrated. However, there are many technologies that you can tap into, and they include gasification, hydrothermal liquefaction, and thermal decomposition.