What is biomass?

Do you really know?

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What is biomass?

Do you really know?

What is biomass?

Biomass is organic matter, mainly coming from plants or animals, used for energy production. European governments consider biomass to be the world’s main source of renewable energy. But some NGOs have refused to agree that biomass is green energy.

Biomass may sound like the latest futuristic invention that biological engineers have come up with. But really, humans have been using biomass since the prehistoric ages, for example burning wood to cook food or heat homes. It’s only in recent decades that industrialised countries abandoned biomass energy in favour of fossil fuels. The problem is that current consumption rates would see us run out of petrol in 50 years. In 100 years, we could also run out of gas, carbon and uranium. So, governments have started taking an interest in biomass again.

The burning of wood accounts for a portion of biomass energy and it is encouraged in several countries. But biomass energy can also come from biogas, the mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter, mainly from our waste. Biomass centers have been created to collect methane from fermentation in order to produce steam and electricity.

The Energy Information Administration reported that biomass fuels provided about 5% of total primary energy use in the United States for the year 2017. Those figures should increase as researchers are investing heavily in ways to use biomass for more fuel.

The United Nations do indeed believe that biomass is a renewable energy source. However, there are debates about its use, as it is not necessarily totally clean. For example, burning wood is still one of the main sources of fine particle pollution.

 

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What is biomass?

Biomass is organic matter, mainly coming from plants or animals, used for energy production. European governments consider biomass to be the world’s main source of renewable energy. But some NGOs have refused to agree that biomass is green energy.

Biomass may sound like the latest futuristic invention that biological engineers have come up with. But really, humans have been using biomass since the prehistoric ages, for example burning wood to cook food or heat homes. It’s only in recent decades that industrialised countries abandoned biomass energy in favour of fossil fuels. The problem is that current consumption rates would see us run out of petrol in 50 years. In 100 years, we could also run out of gas, carbon and uranium. So, governments have started taking an interest in biomass again.

The burning of wood accounts for a portion of biomass energy and it is encouraged in several countries. But biomass energy can also come from biogas, the mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter, mainly from our waste. Biomass centers have been created to collect methane from fermentation in order to produce steam and electricity.

The Energy Information Administration reported that biomass fuels provided about 5% of total primary energy use in the United States for the year 2017. Those figures should increase as researchers are investing heavily in ways to use biomass for more fuel.

The United Nations do indeed believe that biomass is a renewable energy source. However, there are debates about its use, as it is not necessarily totally clean. For example, burning wood is still one of the main sources of fine particle pollution.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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