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Biomass Energy

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Deep P

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Biomass Energy

Biomass Energy
Where Biomass is Used

What is Biomass
Renewable resource
Biological material from any living organism
Carbon based with other elements in it just like fossil fuels
Different due to the time scale
Converting Biomass to Energy
Direct combustion (burning it)
Co-firing (burning it with coal or natural gas)
Biomass gasification to produce syngas (heating biomass under extreme pressure and adding oxygen to produce a liquid fuel)
History of Biomass
Biomass has been used since the first time wood was burned
Lamp fuel in the US in the 1800s
Ethanol for cars up until 1908
Recently became popular as consumers became aware of a need for an alternate

Worldwide, but mainly in 3rd world countries
Spreading to the US and other countries as a renewable source of energy
Trade-Offs of Solid Biomass
Widely available
Moderate costs
No net CO2 increase if monitored (you must plant trees back)
Biomass plantations can help restore degraded lands
Moderate to high environmental impact (plantations deplete soil of nutrients)
Increases CO2 emissions if burned unsustainably
Clear cutting of forests to provide biomass can cause soil erosion, water pollution, loss of wildlife habitat
Often burned in inefficient and polluting open fires
Biomass vs. Fossil Fuels
One of the most cost efficient
Lower start-up cost
Very low CO2 emissions
Ideal Location for a Biomass Power Plant
Near forests/croplands
Lowers transportation costs
Can be built anywhere, but requires lots of space (15-100+ acres)
Gene engineered biomass is changing where biomass plants can be built
Available in every state/community
How Much Does Biomass Cost?
Average American uses around 903 kilowatthours (kWh) a month
Biomass costs $.05-.10 per kWh
$1.45-2.90 a day
$45-90 a month
$540-1080 a year
How Biomass Energy is Provided to Consumers' Homes and Schools
Enters homes and businesses just like regular electricity
Power company uses steam from burning it to run a turbine to provide electricity
Can also be used to heat homes nearby the plant (loses efficiency as you get farther away)
Biomass and Transportation
Biomass can be converted into syngas and other biofuels for vehicles
Gasoline has ethanol added to it
Ethanol can be used to fuel cars rather than be used as an additive
Can lead to increased CO2 emissions
Must be monitored to ensure trees are being planted, not just removed
Less CO2 emissions than coal
Biomass Energy
Easy to assimilate into our lives
No noticeable difference
Should be used in combination with other renewable resources
Source is living matter and is being wasted
Comes in solid form but can be converted to gas and liquid fuels
Full transcript