Biomass FAQ’s Discussed by 1st Choice Waste
Biomass energy is created from living or recently living plant and animal materials which are processed and burned to generate fuel. Energy derived from biomass is called bioenergy which is classed as a renewable energy source.
Biomass energy is a renewable energy source generated from natural or once-living material. Biomass materials include; wood pellets, wood, branches, roots, grass clippings, manure, crops and some other types of waste. When the materials are burned the chemical energy that is created is released as heat, thus biomass. Biomass can provide energy for homes, businesses, communities as well as creating steam which can drive wind and tide turbines.
Biomass is an extremely versatile renewable energy source as it can be used to generate both heat and electricity, it can be used in combination heat and power units and it can also be used as liquid fuel for the automotive industry.
Biomass used in domestic settings is normally wood-fuelled heating systems or single wood burners.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is an energy source that is naturally sourced and replenishable, it is generated as a result of a natural process occurring and this is also known as the refining of biomass. Renewable energy types include; solar, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric action power.
What are the different types of renewable energy sources?
What is Fossil Fuel?
Fossil fuels include; oil, coal and natural gases. Fossil fuel has changed the way we live and work and have supported huge economic growth and technological evolution over the years. However, we now know that burning fossil fuel has had a dramatic effect on the environment from the vast amounts of carbon gases that are created and emitted into the atmosphere, otherwise known as carbon emissions. Dramatic climate change is being seen from these carbon emissions and is leading to water levels changing, droughts, flooding, the damaging of the natural environment and the species that live within it.
Fossil fuels are non-renewable and take millions of years to form, meaning they don’t replenish and we are quickly getting to the point where they will run. In addition to this, they are having an extremely negative impact and damaging the environment and these are the reasons that more and more people and businesses are changing their energy sources to renewable energy.
Can biomass replace fossil fuel?
Bioenergy, which is the energy derived from biomass is an extremely sustainable alternative to fossil fuel as it is generated from all-natural materials which can be continuously replenished. In the UK and across the world we now need to be more focused on producing more biomass to ensure it becomes the ‘go-to’ renewable energy source across the world.
How is biomass created?
Biomass is created from organic material that mostly comes from plants and animals which all contain stored energy from the sun. Plants absorb the sun’s energy in a process called photosynthesis. When biomass is burned, the chemical energy produced is then released as heat. Biomass can be burned directly or converted to liquid biofuels or biogas that can be burned as fuels.
Why is biomass better for the environment?
Biomass converts unwanted waste to energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions in 2 ways:
- Heat and electrical energy are generated which reduces the dependence on power plants and fossil fuel/non-renewable energy
- The greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced by preventing methane emissions from landfill sites where waste can take thousands of years to degrade whilst all the time producing dangerous methane.
How is biomass used today?
Biomass is converted into gas and liquid fuels by adding heat or chemicals to it. The gas and liquid fuels are then burned to produce heat, steam or electricity, or to act as a fuel for vehicles. Biomass is now used to power homes, businesses, communities and whole plants or turbines across the world.
Why is biomass important?
Biomass can be used to generate electricity using the same equipment or power plants that currently burn fossil fuels and this makes it very adaptable as well as meaning new power plants don’t need to be built or old ones adapted which is harmful to the environment.
Biomass is a vital source of renewable energy as it is generated from materials we already have and are most likely getting rid of, therefore making it renewable energy. After coal, oil and natural gas fuels which are fossil fuels biomass is now one of the most important fuels in the world. Biomass used to create bioenergy is produced from natural materials including; wood pellets, wood, branches, roots, grass clippings, manure, crops and sawdust and these all contribute to approximately 44 percent of the biomass produced.
Can biomass be used in homes?
Many homes and businesses across the world use bioenergy to generate their electricity and around 10 percent of biomass is used to generate electricity across the world.
The use of bioenergy is still small in the UK and less than 5% of the UK homes are heated by biomass boilers. It really is an untapped resource which we need to make more use of as it is versatile and can be used as fuel for electricity, heat and fuel for the automotive industry as well as it having the ability to produce industrial material.
Different environmentalists will have different views on biomass and some state that it can play an important part, but we still need to focus our efforts on the renewable energy sourced from wind and tides as well.
Is biomass energy environmentally clean?
Biomass is known as a carbon-neutral energy source as the carbon emitted and the carbon removed from the atmosphere are balanced.
Biomass is a renewable energy source because its energy comes from the sun. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into biomass and when they die it is released back into the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if trees are burned in the biomass process or if they decompose naturally, they still release the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, therefore causing no damage to the environment.
If trees are planted as quickly as the wood is burned for biomass the newly planted trees take up the carbon produced by the combustion and the carbon cycle remains balanced.
Why is biomass expensive?
Biomass is only an expensive energy source if the natural material being used to generate it needs to be collected and delivered and this then outweighs the benefits in both cost and in regards to carbon footprint. At 1st Choice Waste, we only use the waste material that has been brought to our site or would have been collected anyway to generate our biomass. This makes it an economical way of removing waste and generating energy as well as being environmentally friendly due to having no additional transportation costs within our business.
Is biomass eco friendly?
Biomass energy is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel which has dramatically changed the climate throughout the world. Research has shown that using a renewable energy source such as biomass bioenergy can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by over 80 percent.
What are the advantages of biomass?
- Biomass reduces the need for non-renewable and harmful fossil fuels
- Biomass can be used to produce heat, steam, and electricity for residential, industrial and agricultural use
- Biomass is a renewable energy source and is readily available using the natural waste materials we no longer want or need that would otherwise go to landfill or decompose
- Growing biomass plantations and crops produce oxygen and use up carbon dioxide and the carbon cycle remains in balance
- Using the natural waste materials needed to generate biomass reduces the need for disposing of them in landfill leaving room for the materials that don’t naturally decompose
- The carbon dioxide released when biomass fuel is burned is absorbed by plants and trees
We are moving away from using fossil fuel for everything in the UK and the use of biomass as well as other renewable energy sources is vital for us to protect the environment and protect us when fossil fuels run out.
Biomass contributes to approximately 4% of the UK’s energy sources, compared to wind and solar accounting for approximately 11-12%.
The Renewable Energy Association’s report in June 2019 suggests that bioenergy could triple from the levels we currently see to at least 16% by 2032. Biomass will and has to play a vital role in the UK’s emission reduction targets.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has suggested that biomass could provide 60% of global renewable energy by 2030.
About 1st Choice Waste
1st Choice Waste is a reputable, professional and reliable Waste Management & Recycling Business in the North East and we have been in operation for over 10 years. We are a fully licensed and certified waste management company and can cater for all of your waste needs, whether commercial, industrial or domestic.
Throughout our 10 years, we have continually developed our efficiencies in our waste processing, recycling and waste brokerage services and our services are unrivalled.
1st Choice Waste Environmental Ethos
We take the environmental impact of commercial, industrial and domestic waste disposal very seriously and our company goal is to recycle as much of the waste we handle as possible. Our highly dedicated team ensures we dispose of our waste in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
We offer a highly efficient waste management and recycling service that ensures waste from all industrial and commercial sectors are able to manage all of their waste, including hazardous, difficult, and unique waste produce. Every business is different and waste disposal can be complex but our highly efficient team will work with you closely to understand your waste requirements. Our services include; collection and recovery for large or small quantities of waste and our waste service is unrivalled in the North East.
1st Choice Waste’s Biomass Boiler
We are extremely proud to have our very own biomass boiler which converts all possible natural waste materials into energy which then passes clean electricity to the grid. Our biomass boiler is a highly beneficial solution as it reduces the waste that is generated and produces environmentally friendly renewable energy.
For any commercial, industrial or domestic waste service contact us today on 01642 478734 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and can also explain our biomass waste and energy production in more detail to you. If you have domestic, commercial or industrial waste and you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to dispose of it then we can help.
Ben works for the marketing team at 1st Choice Waste Management, he has a passion for marketing and helping businesses to grow.