The use of biomass as a renewable energy source is a concept that is rapidly growing in popularity both here in the UK and further afield. Biomass energy involves creating energy from organic matter… and it could have a very important role to play in the future energy requirements of the UK.
The term biomass energy basically refers to organic biological matter that is used to create energy primarily from plants which are not used for food or animal feed, and are specifically called lignocellulosic biomass.
Oftentimes it refers specifically to plant matter, but it can also be related to animal matter.
Put simply, biomass is a fuel that is derived from something that used to be alive.
Biomass as a Renewable Energy Source
One of the key elements to consider with regard to biomass energy is its capacity to be renewable.
We will continue to grow all manner of different plants, and those plants will eventually rot down and be transformed into organic matter that can in turn produce further energy for us to use.
One of the best examples of biomass energy is that of wood.
Most people are familiar with wood, as it can be chopped into logs to use on a fire… wood chips and pellets can also be created in some instances.
Carbon Neutral Biomass Fuels
Biomass energy is carbon neutral in that it won’t add any additional carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere either, so it is viewed by many as a very beneficial way to generate energy we can use.
This holds true with regard to sustainable forests, for example.
As trees are cut down, more are planted to replace them.
The wood from the trees can then be used as fully sustainable biomass energy source.
While CO2 is released when the logs are burned, an equal amount can be extracted from the atmosphere as the new trees grow.
Thus it is possible to manage the levels of carbon dioxide generated, so they are negated by the amount taken from the atmosphere on a regular basis.
Biomass Energy from Decomposition & Fermentation
Most of the time, we burn biomass products to generate the energy we need.
However there are two other methods that could be used to generate energy from biomass related fuel sources.
The first is simply to wait for the biomass materials to decompose.
Methane gas will be released by animal matter that decomposes, and this gas can be collected and then used to create electricity.
The second method of generating energy from biomass materials is that of fermentation.
Some crops have lots of sugar present in them, and when these crops begin to rot, ethanol can be created, and this in turn can be used to generate energy.
The Future of Biomass Energy
As such, biomass energy is well worth investing in for the future.
It offers a sustainable form of energy that can be used in a variety of ways, and can also be environmentally friendly, assuming it is managed properly.
Biomass energy certainly has much more to commend it than fossil fuels, which can damage the environment around us.
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