The term biomass is used to describe both plant and animal matter. There are different forms of biomass that can actually be used to produce energy that can be used to heat and power homes and businesses. Examples of these include straw, wood, and poplar. Biomass is most commonly used to create electricity and heat but it can also produce a type of liquid fuel that can be used to run a vehicle.
It is worth noting that biomass is only a renewable energy source if it is taken from a sustainable source. This may include tree surgery waste and other wood waste such as sawdust, energy crops, and agricultural waste.
Wood is one of the most popular types of biomass. It is often used in homes that have wood-burning stoves but it can also be used to create pellets or chips for specific types of boilers, usually used in a commercial setting. Energy crops are another type of biomass. These are crops that are grown specifically so that they can be used to create energy. Willow and poplar are used as they grow quickly and can be cut right down to the ground every few years. The wood is chipped and can then be used to generate energy. Perennial grasses, sugar cane, wheat, and maize can also produce biomass energy. If they are fermented they produce bioethanol.
Agricultural waste can be put to good use to create biomass energy. Straw, which is dry waste, can be burned, while wet waste such as slurry can go through a digester process in order to produce the gas methane. This can then be used for a variety of purposes.
Municipal waste can also be put to good use to produce biomass energy that millions of people can benefit from. Many local authorities have a variety of waste collection services, one of which may be waste food, although this is not done in all areas. Waste food can be recycled and used to create compost or it can go through the digester process, while biodiesel can be created from waste vegetable oils.
However, not all types of municipal waste recycling can be used to produce renewable energy. This is because the burning of some products will generate emissions and residues that will not be environmentally friendly. Simply burning the waste to reduce landfill will not be enough to create the environmental benefits that are needed.