Biomass is an increasingly used source of renewable energy around the world, now accounting for 12.6% of the UK’s energy production, but what is biomass?
Biomass is a renewable energy source that can be used to generate electricity, heat or transportation fuels. Biomass is plant or animal material that can be used as fuel. It includes wood, wood waste, straw, manure, and other organic matter. Biomass and biogas are both biofuels.
When biomass is burned, it converts energy that can be utilized to generate electricity or heat. Biomass can also be synthesised into transportation fuels, such as biodiesel and bioethanol.
Top 4 examples of biomass:
1. Wood which includes: Tree Crops, Wood processing waste and forest wastes. Wood is the main source of biomass.
2. Energy Crops which includes: food crops; starchy crops and oily crops. It also includes non-food crops such as Hemp, Algae and perennial plants.
3. Agricultural Waste which includes dry waste, garden waste and wet waste.
4. Municipal and Industrial Waste: which includes human waste, municipal solid waste, wet waste and landfill gas.
What are the benefits of biomass?
Biomass energy is a great way of creating energy from carbon emissions that have already been ‘lost’ from previous activities. Burning biomass releases carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. However, the ‘loss’ of carbon has already occurred, such as when the wood was chopped down for its original use, or when food was originally sourced (before becoming food waste). In addition, the carbon dioxide released from biomass will only be that which was originally sequestered by the plant during growth. As carbon ‘loss’ is deemed to have already occurred, the emissions produced are therefore better than that from fossil fuel sources.
What are the challenges of biomass?
One of the challenges of biomass is the time taken for it to be created. Another challenge is that biomass can be difficult to transport and store.
Overall, biomass is a promising source of renewable energy that could help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. However, there are still a variety of challenges to overcome in terms of efficiency and cost. With further research and development, biomass could play a major role in our transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.
At Carbon Neutral Britain, we support many different renewable projects, one project being a biomass renewable project – Rice Husk Power Project in Cambodia.
The Angkor Bio Cogen (ABC) project is the first renewable energy project to utilize rice husk as biomass fuel for electricity generation in Cambodia, involving the operation of 2 MW new rice husk power generation plant in the Kandal province.
The electricity generated from the biomass power plant to the Angkor Rice Mill that, in absence of the project activity, uses diesel oil to generate electricity for the rice mill operation. Furthermore, ABC provides surplus electricity to neighbouring factories and communities through the power utility in Angsnoul District that, in the absence of the project activity, use diesel oil or batteries for their uses.
If you are interested in learning more, or interested in supporting this project, contact the business team today for more information.