As time passed and development unfolds, there is an increased demand for energy and fossil fuels. This situation has caused problems in energy supply and hazards to the environment as well. Instead of putting our ecosystem at risk, people sought a safe and green solution. This led to considering biomass energy. 

What is biomass energy

When people encounter the word “biomass”, they associate it with organic. Biomass pertains to the fuel derived from organic materials. These substances are found almost everywhere, such as plants, wood, and other raw elements. Biomass energy supplies and powers communities with electricity, heat, steam and other forms of energy.

The process of biomass to energy started back in the 1800s where Rudolf Diesel invented a biofuel engine. It was powered only by vegetable oil. Since then, biofuel has been a prominent option for the transportation industry. Primary forms of biomass energy include agricultural materials, landfill gas, biodiesel, solid wastes, bioethanol, and biogas.

How is biomass energy formed

There are many ways to create biomass energy. How biomass energy is generated can vary depending on the resources and needs of the community. Energy from living organisms is transformed into usable heat through direct and indirect processes such as:

Thermal conversion 

High levels of heat are used to burn, dehydrate and stabilize materials. 

Direct firing and co-firing

The firing process produces steam that powers a turbine. This then turns the generator that produces electricity.

Pyrolysis

Similar to thermal conversion, materials are heated up to 300 Celsius degree without oxygen. This process prevents the organic items from combusting and chemically alters the biomass components.

Gasification

With a controlled amount of oxygen and heat, the molecules break down and produce syngas. 

Anaerobic decomposition

Microorganisms, mainly bacteria, break down raw materials in the absence of oxygen. This is the process usually conducted in landfills where oxygen can be controlled in the environment.

The advantages of biomass

With biomass, energy supply has been safe for both the environment and people in it. There are numerous biomass energy benefits, such as the following:

  • People would use fewer fossil fuels as an energy source.
  • Materials for biomass is found everywhere and is considered as a renewable resource.
  • Crops used for biomass also contribute to a better ecosystem where it produces oxygen and uses up carbon dioxide.
  • There are fewer wastes in landfills and space can be used for better commercial purposes.
  • Biomass fuels release carbon dioxide to the air which, in turn, is taken in by plants.
  • Biomass energy is cost and energy-efficient. Companies would no longer need to spend on foreign oil. They can also get the right amount of energy by just processing agricultural materials.