Biomass Fuel - Biomass Energy You Can Be Using Today
Biomass fuel refers to anything that can either burn or decompose. Other terms are biomass energy or biofuel. The prefix "bio" refers to life.
Bioenergy technologies use renewable organic resources, called biomass, to produce many energy related products including electricity, liquid, solid and gaseous fuels, heat, chemicals and other materials.
Bioenergy ranks second - to hydropower - in renewable U.S. primary energy production and accounts for 3 percent of the primary energy production in the United States.
Biomass fuels are starting to become more popular due to the rising costs of fossil fuels. The beauty of using these biofuels is that we can develop our own fuels at home just as our forefathers did over 100 years ago.
Also utilizing the source of bioenergy reduces pollution, helps control carbon dioxide emissions ( Remember, plants take in CO2 which will offset emissions)
Bioenergy is starting to become more popular due to the rising costs of fossil fuels. The beauty of using these biofuels is that we can develop our own fuels at home just as our forefathers did over 100 years ago.
Also utilizing the source of bioenergy reduces pollution, helps control carbon dioxide emissions ( Remember, plants take in CO2 which will offset emissions) Biomass resources will also help support the American farmer as well as other natural renewable resources.
Here are some basics regarding this interesting field:
Crops and Animals
While crops and certain types of animals are consumed as food, they also create waste products that can be used as biomass. Process residues, dung and bagasse - sugar cane waste - can all be used in the production of bioenergy. one such biofuel is methane gas, a very efficient fuel for today's engines.
Energy crops, such as fast-growing trees and grasses, are called bioenergy feedstocks. Stalks, straws, treetops, branches, perennial crops and other forest waste can all be used as biomass. With this, we can generate fuels such as ethanol by use of alcohol fuel stills and hydrogen and methane by the aid of gasifiers.
There are many sources of organic material that can be used to create biomass fuel. One source of materials is byproducts from manufacturing of fibers. Making pulp, paper, lumber, plywood and cotton yields process residues, black liquor, sawdust and bark that can all be used as biomass
Construction and demolition wood, yard trimmings and non-recyclable organic material are all consumer waste that can be used as biomass to create energy.
It really does not take much effort once you get the equipment in place to generate your own alcohol, methane or biodiesel fuel from byproducts we dispose of every day.
Biomass Energy and Bioproducts
Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be converted directly into liquid fuels for our transportation needs.
The two most common biomass fuels are ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol, an alcohol, is made by fermenting any biomass high in carbohydrates, like corn, through a process similar to brewing beer.
It is mostly used as a fuel additive to cut down a vehicle's carbon monoxide and other smog-causing emissions. Biodiesel, an ester, is made using vegetable oils, animal fats, algae, or even recycled cooking greases.
It can be used as a diesel additive to reduce vehicle emissions or in its pure form to fuel a vehicle.
Heat can be used to chemically convert biomass into a fuel oil, which can be burned like petroleum to generate electricity.
Biomass can also be burned directly to produce steam for electricity production or manufacturing processes. (CBS News)
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Biomass Fuel Alternatives
Disadvantages of Biomass Energy
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