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♻️  Unit 8: Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution

6.7 Energy from Biomass

#biomass

#energy

⏱️  1 min read

written by

Karla Jauregui Sandoval

karla jauregui sandoval


What is Biomass Energy?🌱 

Biomass has been used since our very first ancestors, they used wood to burn it and produce heat. Now modernized, biomass energy is the burning of waste such as wood, garbage, crops, landfill gas, and alcohol fuels in order to produce heat that is converted into electricity.

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Image Courtesy of The National Energy Education Project

Biomass resources are readily available but different types of species take a longer time to replenish. For example trees can grow rapidly, however if countries are extracting trees faster than they can be replenished, that will lead to deforestation. 

Ethanol can be used as a substitute for gasoline. Burning ethanol does not introduce additional carbon into the atmosphere via combustion, but the energy return on energy investment for ethanol is low. 

Many companies are actively working on sustainable biomass technologies to replace transportation fuels.  

Benefits 👍🏻

Drawbacks 👎🏻

  • Widely available - organic material can be harvested anywhere 

  • Carbon neutral 

  • Produces carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and volatile organic compounds 

  • Over harvesting trees can lead to deforestation 

  • Expensive 

Watch: Environmental Science

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