Renewable Biomass Energy

Biomass plant1 by GreenRon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Biomass plant1” by GreenRon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Abigail Romero, Reporter

I’m sure you’ve heard of solar panels and wind turbines, but have you you heard of Biomass? What exactly is it? Is it the same as Biofuel? Is it good for the environment?

Well, biomass is any organic matter, like wood, crops, sea weed, and animal waste, that can be used as an energy source. Biomass is the oldest source of energy, not including the sun, and for thousands of years, people have burned wood or charcoal to heat homes and cook food.

Source: Adapted from The National Energy Education Project (public domain)

Biofuel is any fuel that is made from organic matter/biomass, and is used as transportation fuel and to generate electricity and produce heat. 

Biomass gets its energy from the sun because it is organic matter, and is used to make biofuel, electricity, and produce heat as well.

To convert biomass to energy, it is burned, fermented, and decayed by bacteria.

Some types of biomass are wood, agricultural products, solid waste, landfill gas, and alcohol fuels.

A few types of biofuel are biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, and butanol.

Being able to burn trash and waste to make electricity and provide heat for homes is one one of the many pros of using biomass and biofuel. It is carbon neutral and compared to fossil fuels it is a much better option, but as animal waste and trash escalates, the amount of green house gasses emitted are also increasing and then it is damaging to the environment.