Biomass is one of the oldest forms of renewable energy. Organic materials like animal waste and plants have this important resource, readily available for many uses. The process by which biomass is formed makes it more unique and renewable.
Biomass consist of water, carbon dioxide and solar energy though the most notable source of biomass is plants.
Plants are able to manufacture biomass through the process of photosynthesis where chlorophyll absorbs energy from the sun and use it to convert carbon dioxide from the surrounding and the ground to carbohydrates. When these carbohydrates are burned, they are converted back to water and carbon dioxide and in the process release energy from the sun back to the atmosphere.
Another source of biomass is trees, which works in more less the same way as the plants. Apart from the normal process of obtaining wood fuel from conventional forestry practice, which in most cases is through thinning and trimming, you can also derive this type of energy from operations such as tree surgery and management of parks, transport corridors and gardens. Biomass fuel can be obtained from many types of trees though most of them are categorized as virgin woods in the event that they have not been for any other purpose. To obtain biomass fuel, you can grow energy crops that are specifically for this function.
These energy crops are can be grown on large scale for fuel purposes with low inputs. The common types of these energy crops are the short rotation, grass and non woody, agricultural and aquatic energy crops. Worth noting is that to achieve high yields, you must use high levels of fertilizer to speed up the rate of growth. In order to identify the potential types of energy crops that will give high biomass productivity, several research organizations have come up to determine the crops productivity, different growing conditions, climatic events and their susceptibility to diseases.
Agricultural residues if well utilized are high producers of biomass energy. The most preferred from agricultural residue is straw, which is normally dry and animal slurry, which is wet. This can be from agricultural crops and their processes yield so much residue. Other sources can be animal manures, arable crop residues, animal bedding especially the poultry litter, and grass silage among others. Wastes and residues can also be used to produce biomass.
These can be byproducts, wastes or residues from processes in industries. Food waste falls under this type of process whereby, huge quantities of waste are produced before it reaches the consumer and after it has been used. Industrial products and wastes produce woody and non woody wastes, thus making this source one of the most common source of biomass due to the availability of many industries in the UK.
Biomass can be used in many different ways as energy. This is mostly determined by the properties and form of the biomass as well as the needs of the consumer. Stove and boilers are the most common and simplest types of biomass system. This happens in an enclosed place such as a house, which is a more convenient place than outside or open place. When in an enclosed place, it is mainly used to provide warmth from the heat. It can also be used for cooking and any other kitchen function. Log stoves and pellet stoves also use this type of energy to provide heat and warmth. Another type of biomass system is the anaerobic digestion.
This process works in that organic material are broken down by bacteria without air producing biogas that is rich in methane. Biomass systems are equipment that use this type of energy to produce heat or electricity. Before installing these systems, you need to put in mind certain considerations that are very vital. You need to know if the type of biomass that you want to install is suitable for that particular application. This will help you if the heat demand is suitable to you.
Additional Information On Biomass
You also need to know where you are going to get the fuel supply for the system the probable characteristics. Another point to consider is where to store the fuel and at the same time, how to deliver it from the storage place to the store. With these questions satisfactorily answered in your mind, then you can proceed and install your biomass system.
There are several reasons as to why you should use biomass. The most common reason is that it is renewable. It can also be found locally guaranteeing you security of supply. Use of biomass also offers some employment to the locals and help in sustaining the rural economy. The availability of local networks enhance the usage and production of biomass sources reducing on financial costs that could have been used in the transportation as well as environmental implications. Use of wastes in biomass also reduces the cost that could have been incurred in waste disposal.