Properties of Biomass Energy


Properties of Biomass Energy

All organic material derived from plants is referred to as biomass (including algae, trees, and crops). Biomass is created by green plants turning sunlight into plant material via photosynthesis, and it encompasses all land- and water-based vegetation as well as all organic wastes. The biomass resource is biological matter in which the energy of the sun is stored in chemical bonds. When the bonds between neighboring carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules are broken by digestion, combustion, or decomposition, the stored chemical energy is released. it has long been a key source of energy for humans, and it is now estimated that it accounts for a quarter of the world’s energy supply.

Biomass Energy

Biomass is the plant material produced by the interaction of CO2 in the air, water, and sunshine to generate carbohydrates. That serve as the building blocks of biomass. Photosynthesis typically transforms less than 1% of the available sunlight into chemical energy. The solar energy that drives photosynthesis is stored in the chemical bonds of biomass structural components. When biomass is digested efficiently, either chemically or biologically, the energy held in the chemical bonds is extracted, and the consequent ‘energy’ product coupled with oxygen, the carbon is oxidized to form CO2 and water. The process is circular since the CO2 is again accessible for the production of fresh biomass.

biomass energy

Different Types of Biomasses

Researchers characterize biomass in numerous ways, but one easy strategy is to designate four primary types:

  • wooden plants
  • herb plants/grasses
  • aquatic plants,
  • manures.

Herbaceous plants are further classified as having high or low moisture content within this category. Aside from specialized uses or demands, the majority of commercial activity has been geared toward lower moisture-content kinds, woody plants, and herbaceous species, which will be the types of biomasses explored in this study. Aquatic plants and manures are naturally high-moisture materials, making them more suited to ‘wet’ processing procedures.

The type of biomass picked determines the most likely form of energy conversion process based mostly on the moisture content of the biomass. High-moisture biomass, such as the herbaceous plant sugarcane, lends itself to a ‘wet/aqueous’ conversion method requiring biologically mediated processes. Such as fermentation, whereas ‘dry’ biomass, such as wood chips, lends itself more cheaply to gasification, pyrolysis, or burning. When the moisture content of the material is such that the energy required for drying would be excessive in comparison to the energy content of the product created, aqueous processing is utilized.

Biomass properties

The intrinsic qualities of the biomass feedstock influence both the conversion procedure used and any future processing challenges that may develop.

Similarly, the form in which the energy is required influences the choice of biomass source. it is also the interaction between these two factors that allow flexibility to be brought into the use of biomass as an energy source.

As previously stated, the biomass kinds studied in this study are woody and herbaceous species . Which are the two types researched by the majority of biomass researchers and technology vendors. Specific material qualities become relevant during later processing depending on the energy conversion procedure used.

  • moisture content (intrinsic and extrinsic),
  • calorific value,
  • proportions of fixed carbon and volatiles,
  • ash/residue content,
  • alkali metal content,

are the major material qualities of importance during further processing as an energy source.

The first five qualities are of primary significance in dry biomass conversion processes. Whereas the first and last properties are of primary relevance in wet biomass conversion processes. The quantification of these material qualities for the various kinds of biomass is covered in the section that follows.


Final thought

The utilization of biomass is a traditional energy source for the developing world. It may play a critical role in assisting the developed world in reducing the environmental effect of burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.

Biomass is a recognized renewable energy source that is viewed as a way of reducing global warming by replacing the usage of fossil fuels. Woody plants, herbaceous plants, and grasses are the major forms of biomass of interest for producing energy, with research centered on plant species. The chemical energy stored in plants is contained in the plant’s cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin components.

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