Biomass energy potential 2015–2040. Energy sources are, in principle, divided into non-renewable and renewable types. Non-renewable sources of energy are fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and nuclear fuels. The amounts of these energy sources are limited and, because of exploitation, stocks are exhausted, because these fuels do not regenerate naturally.
Renewable energy sources can be divided into the wind, sun, water, geothermal, and biomass sources. Renewable resources are self-rechargeable and, in all cases (except geothermal), their energy ultimately originates from the sun.
Biomass energy is interesting for our technology. It is a renewable energy source of biological origin and appears in many different forms:
- Forest biomass (firewood, branches and wood waste from forestry, sawdust, bark)
- Industrial wood waste (residue resulting from sawing, grinding, planning, etc.)
- Residues from agricultural production (stems, rise, coconut and fruit residues)
- Animal residues and wastes (animal manure, waste from animal husbandry)
- Biomass from waste (municipal and industrial waste organic)
Among the various types of biomass, forest and agricultural biomass (forest biomass and industrial wood waste) has the most extensive application. Compared to fossil fuels, biomass represents reduced emissions. It is estimated that load the atmosphere with CO2 using biomass, as fuel is negligible, since the amount of CO2 emitted during combustion is equal to the amount absorbed during the growth of the plants from which it originates.
Additional advantages are the disposal and recovery of waste and residues from agriculture, forestry and wood processing, reducing energy imports, investment in agriculture and the exploitation of undeveloped areas.
The combustion of biomass is obtained by thermal energy for heating in industry and households or to be converted into a low temperature for cooling and, in parallel, it is also possible to generate electric power. Such a system of combined heat and electrical power generation at high-energy efficiency is called a co-generation plant.