What is Biomass?


Biomass is an organic product created from living, and / or just recently living organisms. When we talk about biomass intended for energy production this is normally vegetable based material, although biomass can also refer to both animal as well as plant sourced material.


Biomass Sources
Image Credit

The Carbon Cycle:

“The carbon used to construct biomass is absorbed from the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2) by plant life, using energy from the sun.

Plants may subsequently be eaten by animals and thus converted into animal biomass. However the primary absorption is performed by plants.

If plant material is not eaten it is generally either broken down by micro-organisms or burned:

  • If broken down it releases the carbon back to the atmosphere, mainly as either carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4), depending upon the conditions and processes involved.
  • If burned the carbon is returned to the atmosphere as CO2.

These processes have happened for as long as there have been plants on Earth and is part of what is known as the carbon cycle.”

source: BiomassEnergyCentre

Not all biomass materials are destined to be used as fuels since they are already suitable for other uses (large timber for structures for example)

“There are five basic categories of material:

Virgin wood, from forestry, arboricultural activities or from wood processing

Energy crops: high yield crops grown specifically for energy applications

Agricultural residues: residues from agriculture harvesting or processing

Food waste, from food and drink manufacture, preparation and processing, and post-consumer waste

Industrial waste and co-products

from manufacturing and industrial processes.”

source: BiomassEnergyCentre

So biomass is good, there is a natural balance with biomass, and so it is called a “green” energy source. Contrast that with other sources like in the image below

Biomass is Green EnergyImage courtesy of Eveco

Biomass Energy Facts

Here’s a nice explanation of the facts behind Biomass Energy Made From Plant Matter

So, because biomass is renewable, it makes a better choice for everyone’s future. We can take advantage of this by getting ready for the future now. Already the Governments are supporting ‘renewables” on a global level by providing funding grants towards green technologies and levying other sources.

Biomass Heating Solutions and Biomass Boilers

Here’s an interview with a lady who explains how she uses biomass to heat her 5 bedroom house using a compact wood pellet boiler. The pellet boiler in this video is not connected to a large hopper store. Instead, it is filled manually with bags of wood pellets.

The video introduces the system and shows what is required to operate it.

At Boyhill Cookers we can help educate you on the possibility of using Biomass as a heating solution for yourself. If you want to know more about biomass and what options are available right now, just get in touch with us.



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