Can't see the menu?
Try the text links at the bottom.

Energy Resources:
Biomass

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Biomass:

Energy from organic materials

Custom Search

Introduction  

Wood was once our main fuel. We burned it to heat our homes and cook our food.

Wood still provides a small percentage of the energy we use, but its importance as an energy source is dwindling.

Sugar cane is grown in some areas, and can be fermented to make alcohol, which can be burned to generate power.
Alternatively, the cane can be crushed and the pulp (called "bagasse") can be burned, to make steam to drive turbines.

Other solid wastes, can be burned to provide heat, or used to make steam for a power station.

"Bioconversion" uses plant and animal wastes to produce "biofuels" such as methanol, natural gas, and oil.

We can use rubbish, animal manure, woodchips, seaweed, corn stalks and other wastes.


rubbish
Video clip: Why use biomass?

How it works

For a biomass power station making electricity, it's pretty much like a fossil fuel power station:

For other biofuels, we may burn it to get the heat for our home, or burn it to get energy for a car engine, or for some other purpose.


More

Sugar cane is harvested and taken to a mill, where it is crushed to extract the juice. The juice is used to make sugar, whilst the left-over pulp, called "bagasse" can be burned in a power station.

The station usually provides power for the sugar mill, as well as selling electricity to the surrounding area.

2008: plans have just been announcedby trhe energy company E.on for a biomass-fuelled power station Portbury, near Bristol. The fuel would be wood, brought in by boat, and the station would produce 150MW of electrical power. Find out more

sugar cane plantation.  from www.sxc.hu


See also:

Could you use biomass to fuel your home? Visit www.energysavingtrust.org

This happy pig produces lots of biomass . From www.sxc.hu

Advantages  
  • It makes sense to use waste materials where we can.

  • The fuel tends to be cheap.

  • Less demand on the fossil fuels.


Disadvantages

  • Collecting or growing the fuel in sufficient quantities can be difficult.

  • We burn the biofuel, so it makes greenhouse gases just like fossil fuels do.

  • Some waste materials are not available all year round.

Is it renewable?

Biomass is renewable, as we're going to carry on making waste products anyway.

We can always plant & grow more sugar cane and more trees, so those are renewable too.

 

   
Custom Search

 

Give a unique gift and help save these endangered big cats - Adopt a Tiger with the WWF and make a difference!

 
        Can't see the menu? Try these text links:
Home  Fossil Fuels   Nuclear Power   Solar Power   Wind Power   Tidal Power   Hydroelectric Power   Pumped Storage   Wave Power   Geothermal Power
Biomass   Biogas   Other Biofuels         See also "Stuff to do" on the home page.
                         This site uses images from www.freefoto.com and www.sxc.hu      I am not responsible for the content of external sites linked from this page.