In order to know what biomass is all about, it is important to know what biomass is. Biomass is often referred to as “media” because it can be used for a variety of purposes.
Biomass, as its name implies, is composed of microorganisms captured in a specific mass. It usually comes from plants and animal sources. This may be in the form of wood, corn, recycled and treated refuse, carbon ash or fungi.
One example of biomass is used mainly in industrial facilities where environmental compliance regulations demand a reduction in contaminants entering air streams. In this instance, biomass is a combination of microorganisms injected into a free mass such as decomposed soil that has evolved into humus or loam.
Microorganisms are injected into the soil and placed in a housing unit known as a “biofiltration system.” The system degrades Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) into reusable soil reducing the cost of disposal of industrial contaminants to designated landfills. The specific type of biofiltration design and process depends on the use.
Biomass is also used in the energy industry as a type of fuel. Electrical generation plants use biomass as a main fuel source. In this example, biomass is the media used to replace fossil fuel with clean, renewable fuel. Plants and animals all contain forms of stored energy. Plants store energy from the sun. This is known as “photosynthesis.”
Another form of biomass is a process called “waste to energy.” Trash is burned to create electricity. When plants and wood are burned, they release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. Plants also take in CO2 as part of their plant life growth process. In the waste to energy method, sufficient electricity is generated to over one million homes in the U.S.
Biomass is All About Clean Energy
It has been known since the dawn of time that the earth provides numerous ways to produce heat, light and energy. The most primitive life forms experimented with creating fire, used sunlight to avoid starvation and relied on an abundance of earth’s natural resources to increase quality of life.
Biomass is the oldest source of renewable energy. In effect, biomass is directly sourced from the sun and can regrow in a relatively short period of time.