Biomass is the most benign source of renewable energy today specifically in the developing world. As we know that there is enough non-arable land in Africa, Asia, and South America…. Most places receive enough sun & rain and unemployed manpower to harness the solar energy through photosynthesis for local use. We don’t require the new technology for this process. As per recent study, the biomass energy contributes around 10 percent of the world’s total energy requirements. Though, there is a stagnant growth for traditional biomass fuels over the last decade or two. At the same time other renewable energy increased their market share. As per IEA’s 2012 World Energy Outlook projects that by 2035, bio energy use for heating could grow by more than 60 percent and we could see drastic attention from the governments with more focus on biomass engulfed policies.
The main focus should be on the waste along with ‘Biomass’ itself; as we need to stop dumping the biomass waste & start converting to useful energy, fuels, chemical feed stocks, etc. There is no shortage of waste from food, plastics and metals. The most cost-effective and cleanest process of waste to energy exists today and needs to be touted around the world. Everything we harvest eventually gets dumped, with a large fraction of its energy still available. Everything from the municipal sewage to e-waste can be processed into heat, electricity, fuels and recovered the valuable materials. This could be the turning point in the area of future renewable energy. These wastage are much cheaper than dumping and also sustainable. In fact, it’s carbon neutral or even carbon negative. The two big methods are Pyrolysis / Biochar and Fischer Tropsch. These are well developed and in use around the world. We need to specify waste to fuels so we don’t get incineration and food to fuels. Any biomass based bio energy/fuel, direct production of electricity and heat from biomass are at the bottom of the product value proposition. The liquid fuels at the top and feed protein and fertilizer trailing fuel at a significant distance. Biomass is a catch-all word and in reality is made up of various things like starch sugars, cellulosic sugars, lipids (oils), lignin and protein. All of these things are then made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Everything in biomass has its appropriate use in a value chain and they must be integrated, both in an economic sense as well as a new emerging ecology for the planet. The more power can be produced with wastes than other renewable while controlling the waste build-up which affects billions of people by polluting the air and land. Plus, with climate change becoming more prevalent worldwide, for increased urban area population, we can produce organic vegetables, herbs and medicinal ingredients indoors, without sunlight, effectively feeding and healing urbanites. Another type of demand for biomass feed stock will soon develop, if we really get concerned about excess atmospheric carbon. That is Biochar. Half of the carbon can/must be used for energy, but the char will provide extra out-year biomass supply as we rejuvenate soils. The Biochar will allow an even larger supply than projected in future.
Briquette of biomass is new technology to reuse waste material which is gaining attention and popularity at the moment in the world. Use of biomass as an alternative source of energy is the best way to recycle garbage and turn into utilizable products.