Biomass refers to the organic material that is used for production of energy. This energy production process is referred to as Bioenergy.
Bio-energy (from the ancient Greek bios, life) derives from organic materials, such as wood, agricultural crops or organic waste. The majority of Bioenergy comes from animal byproducts, agricultural farms, forests and waste. The feedstocks are grown by farms particularly for their use as an energy supply. Furthermore, most feedstocks can be made into liquid fuels, heat, electric power, and/or biobased products. This makes biomass a flexible and widespread resource that can be adapted locally to meet local needs and objectives.
How is Bioenergy Created?
There are three processes: chemical, thermal and biochemical. Chemical processing uses chemical agents to break down the natural source and convert it into liquid fuel. An example of this process is the fuel that is created from corn (Corn Ethanol).
Thermal conversion uses heat to change the source into energy through combustion or gasification. Biochemicals use bacteria or other organisms to convert the source, such as through composting or fermentation.
Bioenergy vs Biomass
Bioenergy – or biopower – is carbon neutral electricity generated from renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned, or left as fodder for forest fires. Biomass is fuel that is developed from organic materials, a renewable and sustainable source of energy used to create electricity or other forms of power.
There are a number of advantages for businesses when considering adopting biomass-fueled energy systems:
- A Renewable Energy Source
- Clean Energy
- Less Dependency on Fossil Fuels
- Can generate both heat and electricity in a cogeneration power plant.
Examples of Bioenergy:
Municipal Solid Waste
Gases, usually methane, are collected from landfills as waste degrades and are later burned to create electricity.
Gases arising from the breakdown of waste during the sewage treatment process are captured and later burned to generate electricity.