In the developed world biomass is becoming more important for dual applications such as heat and power generation.Biomass is a clean renewable energy resource derived from the waste of various human and natural activities.It excludes organic material which has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.
Wood is the largest energy source of biomass: contributors include the timber industry, agricultural crops and raw materials from the forest.Waste energy is the second largest source of biomass energy. The main contributors are: municipal solid waste and manufacturing waste.Alcohol fuels is the third largest contributor and is derived mainly from corn.
Any source can be used to fuel biomass energy production. We can use rubbish, animal manure, woodchips, seaweed, corn stalks and other wastes.Biomass is matter usually thought of as garbage. Some of the sources are just lying around: dead trees, left-over crops, woodchips, sawdust from lumber mills, even used tires and livestock manure will do.In California, USA, more than 60 million tons of energysources for biomass energy are collected each year. If all thesesources were used to create biomass energy, California couldmake up to 2000 megawatts of electricity. That is enough tomake electricity for about 2 million homes.
Providing electricity is not the major advantage of waste-to-energy plants that generate electricity. It actually costs more to generate electricity at a waste-to-energy plant than it does at a coal, nuclear, or hydropower plant.The major advantage of burning waste is that it reduces the amount of garbage we bury in landfills. Waste-to-energy plants dispose of the waste of 40 million people.The average American produces more than 1,600 pounds of waste a year. If all this waste were land filled, it would take more than two cubic yards of landfill space. Thats the volume of a box 3 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 6 feet high. If that waste were burned, the ash residue would fit into a box 3 feet long, 3 feet wide, but only 9 inches high.Solid Waste Incinerators Simply Dispose of WasteThere also are solid waste incinerators that simply burn trash. They dont use the heat energy to make steam or electricity.Between waste-to-energy plants and solid waste incinerators, the United States burns 14% of its solid waste.
The harnessing of energy from biological mass (biomass) is a simple process. The waste wood and other sources are gathered in big trucks. The waste is then transported to a biomass plant. Here, the waste is fed into furnaces where it is burned. The heat created is used to boil water and the energy from the steam is used to rotate turbines and generators. The second method, through which energy is created, is called Landfill Gas. When garbage is burned or is allowed to decompose it gives off methane gas. Pipelines are put into the landfills (pits in which garbage is burned) and the methane gas is collected. It is then used to make energy in power plants.
The use of biomass can help reduce Global Warming. Plants use and store carbon dioxide (CO2) when they grow. When it burns or decomposes, it releases the CO2. Replanting plants, crops or trees etc. ensures that the C02 is reused. If the plants are not replanted the biomass will disrupt the natural carbon equilibrium and thus continue to contribute towards Global Warming.
In rural India biomass is used for cooking and agricultural growth. It has been very useful for village households that own cattle. Through a simple process the cattle dung is used to produce a gas which is then used as fuel for cooking. The surplus dung is used as manure.The use of sugarcane to produce electricity is increasingly being used in Indian sugar mills. After the juice has been extracted from the sugarcanes, the leftover pulp - bagasse - is sold to power plants. Here, the bagasse is burned. The energy produced is then provided to the sugar mills.Biomass power plants are becoming very popular. Using resources that are easily available makes the production of energy efficient and reliable.
ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES•Biomass can be used for fuels, power •Collecting sufficient quantitiesproduction and products that would of waste can be difficult.otherwise be made from fossil fuels. •Burning the fuel creates•It does not add CO2 to the atmosphere as it greenhouse gases, although onlyabsorbs the same amount of carbon in growing a very little.as it releases when consumed with fuel. •Certain materials arent always•It can be used to generate electricity with available.the same equipment or power plants that arenow burning fossil fuels.•It is sensible to use waste products where wecan.•Biomass fuel generally tends to be cheap.•Using biomass sources places less demandon the Earths resources.•The use of biomass energy has the potential togreatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.•The use of biomass can reduce dependenceon foreign oil.