Using Biomass as an Energy Source

Biomass and biofuel are interesting new takes on harnessing and using energy.  Biomass is plant or animal matter (live or dead microorganisms), that instead of taking thousands of years to be able to be harnessed by humans such as fossil fuels, can be grown and used in a matter of days.

Screen shot 2015-03-19 at 10.40.57 AMAdvantages of Biomass

1. Renewable

Probably the most important advantage of biomass is that it is renewable.

2. Carbon Neutral

This is another term used to describe that biomass does not pollute. Actually, this is not a completely correct way of describing biomass. In fact, by burning biofuel, carbon dioxide does indeed get out in the atmosphere. When we grow biofuel, the plants through the photosynthesis are collecting the same amount of carbon.

3. Energy Conservation

By the term energy conservation, we usually mean methods that either can save us energy (purely reducing the consumption) or methods that increase efficiency. There’s also a third thing about energy conservation that most people don’t know about. Switching polluting energy sources with new clean green ones is a measure in the right direction. This is exactly what can be done with biofuel.

Disadvantages of Biomass

In most cases it usually boils down to whether making the transition to biomass and biofuel really is benefit when it comes to costs. In many cases it really isn’t, and unfortunately that’s why fossil fuels still dominate when it comes to fuels.

When we grow biofuel (plant matter that is), the processes involved require a lot of space. Bigger spaces equal bigger costs, making it even harder for biofuel to compete with conventional fuels. Algae biomass is an interesting new field within biofuel that might introduce a fix to this problem.