What is biomass?
Biomass is a scientific term for living matter, and is also used for products derived from living organisms. Biomass used for heat and electricity production comes from recently grown plants and the waste from animal husbandry and includes agricultural and forestry residues, energy crops, and the biodegradable components of municipal and business wastes
Biomass can be used as a fuel to provide heat, electricity or fuels for transportation. Although biomass releases carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned it differs from fossil fuels in that the CO2 was recently absorbed from the atmosphere when the plants grew.
What is meant by bioenergy?
Biomass energy or bioenergy includes any solid, liquid or gaseous fuel, electric power and heat derived from organic matter. Because of the wide range of potential feed stocks and the variety of technologies to produce and process them, bioenergy is usually considered as a series of different feedstock and technology combinations.
How is biomass used to produce electric power?
In most power plants biomass is burned to produce heat, which boils water to generate steam, which turns turbines and drives generators of electricity.
How is biomass used to make liquid fuels?
The most common liquid fuel from biomass is ethanol (called bio-ethanol) produced by fermentation. Typically, sugars are extracted from the biomass feedstock (such as grain) by crushing and washing. The sugar syrup is then mixed with yeast and kept warm, so that the yeast breaks down the sugars into ethanol.