As people research more sustainable and renewable energy sources, biomass has emerged as the leading choice.
This organic energy comes from plant and animal waste and can replenish quicker than other renewable alternatives.
Its carbon footprint is relatively lower, and it has the potential to produce 40 tonnes of hydrogen annually, enough to meet most of our energy needs.
This point brings us to the big question, can biomass be used in homes and businesses?
Let’s find out!
Can Biomass Be Used in Homes and Businesses?
Yes, biomass can be used in homes and businesses for heating, cooking, and other industrial applications. Experts can convert biomass into methane gas for cooking or turn it into biofuels for heating and electricity generation. Businesses can use biomass for hot water heating and power production.
Biomass has always been the fuel of choice for cooking and heating since time immemorial.
Before the advent of electricity and gas, people used to burn lumber and wood residues such as sawdust, chips, and bark for their energy demands.
These materials can go through direct combustion to generate thermal energy for space, water, and industrial heating or undergo various refinement and chemical processes to produce biofuels.
We can also use biomass in transportation businesses ranging from car shuttle to cab services, significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel.
This organic energy consists of hydrogen and cellulose that can be extracted through bio and thermochemical processes to produce transportation fuels used to power vehicles, boats, and aircraft.
Since biomass is a renewable energy source, you can store and use it whenever you want.
It is also highly efficient since it allows you to utilize over 85% of the energy stored in the fuel, which would otherwise be lost when using traditional fossil fuels.
Even though biomass releases carbon into the atmosphere, it is neutral since the released gases are later reabsorbed by plants, reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn more: 6 Top Countries Leading In Renewable Energy
Is Biomass Practical for Homes?
Yes, biomass is practical for homes, but it must first undergo various refining processes such as chipping and palletization to prepare it for use.
Burning biomass materials such as waste wood, fuel pellets, and chips produces heat energy, which we can use at home for our heating and cooking needs.
Pellet stoves and biomass boilers make it possible and practical to use biomass in homes.
How is Biomass Used at Home?
Direct combustion by burning wood chips, pellets, and agricultural residues was the most common way to generate useful energy from biomass.
In the modern world, biomass is used at home for cooking and heating via pellet burning stoves and boilers.
We can also use digester systems to treat and convert organic waste or biomass into gas for cooking at home.
What Are the Applications of Biomass in Business?
Biomass applications in business include water heating, space heating, and electricity generation.
Many commercial and industrial businesses, including restaurants, supermarkets, and manufacturers, produce lots of organic waste that we can convert into useful energy.
These businesses can use biomass fuel for power and heat production, transportation, and other plant operations.
The energy extracted from biomass can run heavy machinery and operate boilers and steam turbines used in various industries.
What Products Contain Biomass?
If you didn’t know, numerous everyday products contain biomass. These include:
- Fuels: Today’s fuels are a blend of biomass such as ethanol and regular gasoline
- Cosmetics, deodorants, and perfumes: Personal care products such as shampoos, body lotions, creams, nail polish removers contain biobased stocks
- Plastic bottles and containers: Some companies like Coca Cola use biomass technology to produce recyclable bottles for their beverages and soft drinks
- Cleaning products: Biomass contains potent substances such as furan, which can help remove unwanted stains when added to detergents and washing soaps
- Food Additives: Food flavors and supplements trace their source from biomass substances like algae and lignin
Can Biomass Be Used Everywhere?
Yes, biomass can be used everywhere as long as there is an adequate supply of organic matter from animal and plant waste.
Learn more: Can Biomass Be Used in Homes and Businesses?
Who Uses Biomass?
Anyone can use biomass, but this organic fuel is more common in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.
What Is a Biomass Generator?
A biomass generator is a machine used to treat and convert biomass into usable energy.
The machine converts biomass into gas and fuel used for cooking, heating, and generating electricity for industrial and home use.
Can Biomass Be Used for Transportation?
Yes, biomass can be used for transportation.
The energy generated from biomass via biochemical and thermochemical processes is adequate to power battery-driven cars and electric vehicles.
Read our full guide on the application of biomass in transportation.
Why Isn’t Biomass Used More?
Biomass is not used more because converting it into valuable energy can be complex and costly.
The cost of extraction exceeds that of other alternative renewable energy sources such as solar and water.
Moreover, biomass energy is not 100% clean since it uses animal and plant waste that can escalate the release of methane gases, harmful to the environment.
Another reason some experts do not advocate the use of biomass is because it encourages deforestation since it involves burning wood and wood residue.
People need to replace every tree cut down for biomass production, which can be tedious and time-consuming.
However, the good news is that it’s possible to store biomass energy and use it later.
What Percent of Biomass Is Wood?
Wood and wood waste products such as logs, bark, sawdust, and chips are the most common biomass energy source, and they account for over 40 percent of biomass energy.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wood and wood waste accounts for 5.5% and 4.4% of industrial end-use and the total industrial biomass energy consumption.
Residential end-use energy consumption and the total residential biomass energy consumption is 4% and 2.2%.
Biomass is a carbon-neutral and sustainable renewable energy source ideal for homes and businesses. The only impediment is that biomass conversion into usable energy is costly. Fortunately, researchers are working tirelessly to establish new ways to use biomass more effectively.