In this era, one of the greatest concerns for humans is how to wield a safe source of energy and wedge war against global warming. This concern has perhaps brought to the fore the most significant research in the history of humankind which is the study of a safer and better green energy. In this regard, many environmentalists have pinpointed biomass energy as the best source. Therefore, below is a coverage of interesting facts that you might not have apprehended.
♦ Biomass is renewable.
This source is simply inexhaustible which means that it can not be depleted from continuous use. It’s collected from renewable sources such as several plants, agricultural waste, manure, and other types of waste residue. Therefore, it cannot be exhausted since it is all animal and plant matter alive or dead both of which always exists.
♦ Biomass constitutes any living thing.
A fact that is both unbelievable and fascinating is that biomass is composed of every living organism. In fact, even fossil fuels, wood fuels, fuel woods, and biofuels are made from it. To make these uncomplicated, plants, herbs, shrubs, grass and other living things are biomass. The question is; how genuine this is. Well, whether directly or indirectly, any living organism is a source of energy. Right from the time plants process their food through photosynthesis to the point where animals consume such plants, everything is all about a process of energy transformation. Plants convert sunlight into energy. When animals eat plants, they consume that energy. Agreeably, plants and animals are biomass. Both can be used to make energy in one way or another.
♦ Biomass has diverse ways of formation.
This type of energy can be produced in different ways called conversion. The first method is called thermal conversion. In this process, energy is produced by burning wood and other solid wastes. The heat produced is used for cooking and heating. Traditionally, humans have used this method. Interestingly enough, they have used this form of fuel without knowing. The other method is the chemical conversion which is safer than the thermal process based on concern for the environment. Chemical process involves heating the sources, such as sugarcane, to produce methane and alcohol which are liquid fuels. Finally, another conversion method is biochemical enzymes. In this process, enzymes, bacteria, and yeast are used to decompose wood and other solid wastes to produce energy. This process is called fermentation.
♦ Biomass is efficient in producing energy.
Did you know it is the cheapest and easiest to produce? In the United States alone, it constitutes over 70% of locally produced energy. Essentially, it is readily available, renewable, and safe.
♦ Biomass is carbon neutral.
Biomass is created from plants which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for photosynthesis. On its formation, its acts as a fuel that is later burnt to release back carbon dioxide to the environment hence forming part of the carbon cycle. If properly managed, it becomes carbon neutral over time since when it grows, it binds carbon dioxide released which is absorbed back by plants for photosynthesis.
♦ Biomass use is widely increasing
Considering that it is formed from organic waste, it is broadly available because organic matter is abundantly available. Therefore, its usage is growing, especially in rural areas for cooking and heating purposes. An example is the use of biogas for cooking purpose.
In conclusion, based on the interesting facts on biomass covered above, most of us may consider using it as an alternative source of fuel to reduce dependency on fossil fuels in a mission to combat global warming. However, everything with an advantage always has a disadvantage. For this case, the significant drawback associated is the expense involved in creating biomass. However, with the improvement in technology, we can anticipate that the cost will end up being sustainable.