Biomass refers to energy stored in biological materials that can be used to generate energy – specifically heat, electricity and biofuels. Biomass is a chemically complex and heterogeneous resource, with different biomass resources offering varying energy product potential. More than half of the world’s population (52%) cook and heat with solid fuels, including biomass fuels and coal. Biomass also includes plant or animal matter used for production of chemicals, fibers and plastics. Biomass alcohol fuel, or ethanol, is derived mostly from corn, and is used as an oxygenate in gasoline.
Biomass excludes organic materials such as fossil fuels which have been transformed by long-term geological processes and whose carbon has been “out” of the carbon cycle for long periods.
Biological materials absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air as they grow, and when the biomass is burned or decomposes through natural means, it emits carbon back into the atmosphere. This allows for a “closed carbon cycle” that results in a marked decrease in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions as compared to petroleum or other fossil fuels.
Types of Biomass
Perennial grasses, trees and some annual crops can be grown specifically to supply large volumes of uniform, consistent-quality feedstocks for biofuel and biopower production. Verdante BioEnergy Services can assist you with developing a sustainable supply chain and logistics plan for acquiring agricultural feedstocks. We are eager to apply the proprietary aggregation model and risk matrix to agricultural biomass commodities.
Woody biomass has traditionally been a very cost stable commodity when coupled with proper supply chain development. If you are a commercial customer of propane or fuel oil for process heat, biomass can deliver significant cost savings immediately and into the future. We typically develop supply agreements up to 5 years in order to facilitate project financing and enhance predictability in the proforma.
Fossil fuels will continue to increase in cost as extraction and exploration grow more difficult and growing global economies ratchet up demand. Natural gas has been affordable lately, but biomass makes the most sense when natural is not available or when cost fluctuations are a concern.
Check out the Slideshow from the 2012 International Biomass Conference and Expo in Denver last month. Verdante BioEnergy Services was there!
PDF Download: Where Wood Works
Learn about How Wood is Converted into Energy
The Fuel Value Calculator demonstrates value of fuel on a per MM BTU basis. It also will give estimates of cost and cash flow for combined heat and power projects.This spreadsheet contains two worksheets and has no macros. It will help you calculate how much you could afford to pay for alternative heating fuels based on your current fuel source, its cost, and estimated recoverable heating values. The Power Calculator will help you estimate savings when considering generating electricity from woody biomass. The calculations in both worksheets are based on the energy in the fuels and their typical combustion efficiency but do not consider other costs (such as capital or maintenance costs, conversion costs, or fuel handling costs).
from the Wood BioEnergy Magazine blog
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