Biomass-Advantages and Disadvantages

Biomass - Important facts 

Biomass advantages and disadvantages are associated with some very important facts. Day by day the conventional energy sources like fossil fuels is reducing. Finding sources for conventional energy is a very complicated and lengthy process. But with the increasing population, the need for new energy sources is also rapidly increasing in developing countries and in rural areas. Sometimes the grid power is not economically feasible to expand in those areas. In many south Asian countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan biomass is the first choice when it comes to the production of heat for cooking. Here you can find the impact of renewable energy on the global warming in India. The most important biogas plant found in India is Fixed Dome Type Janata Model

Biomass-Advantages and Disadvantages
image courtesy: http://renewableenergyhub.com/

Definition of biomass fuel?

Biomass is naturally produced from plants and animals. It is natural and organic. Biomass is one of the most cheapest non-conventional energy sources because it is produced from micro organisms. Biomass stores energy from sunlight by the photosynthesis process. Though it is cheap and clean it is not a popular form of energy source like fossil fuels. Especially in the developed countries biomass has lost its popularity. But in the rural areas biomass is widely used in small industries and for cooking purposes. Some examples of biomass fuels are wood, manure, animal and human wastes, crops, manure etc. In the last two decades biomass has become very common alternative energy. 

Classifications of biomass 

Biomass is generally classified in two big classes 
  1. Solid biomass  like - weeds, agricultural residues, coconut shells, cotton stock con cob etc. 
  2. Powdery biomass like - rice husk, ground, cofee husk, sugarcane smashes parts etc. 


Biomass advantages and disadvantages 

If you talk about the advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy then we will see that there are very few cons. There are different techniques for the energy harnessing. One of the biggest disadvantage of biomass energy is that sometimes some biomass fuels are needed direct burning. Wood or dried cow dung cakes are some of the sources which need direct burning. And this can cause some pollution. So if not taken care of, biomass can produce severe environmental problems as it releases a lot of carbon. As a result the balance in the ecosystem can be hampered. 
We cannot deny the fact that biomass can be a good alternative fuel to fossil fuels. Biomass can be collected from various sources. So if this energy is harvested in a way that creates negligible harm then it can dispel some of the energy crisis of the world. So for the proper use of the biomass energy , appropriate policy should be made. Awareness about the potential biomass energy advantages and disadvantages should be created. All the energy sources have their own advantages and disadvantages. With proper guidelines and policy biomass can be a great sustainable and low cost clean energy. Like any other energy sources there are advantages and disadvantages of using biomass energy. Let's discuss about them: 

Advantages
  • Biomass energy is renewable or alternative. 
  • Biomass is carbon neutral. 
  • It is  inexhaustible fuel source. 
  • Biomass produces very low amount of  carbon compared to fossil fuel energy;
  • The environmental impact is minimum if the direct burning burning is avoided. Instead of that fermentation or pyrolysis can be used 
  • Alcohol and other forms of fuels produced from biomass is very clean burning and environment friendly. 
Disadvantages
  • Fossil fuels are more efficient than biomass fuels. 
  • Sometimes biofuel production can be proved a little expensive. 
  • Some biomass production plants need a lot of space to grow the raw materials of the plant (crops and plants)
  • Direct burning can produce pollution by particulate emission. 

Conclusion

In developing and rural areas biomass is still used in heating purposes and also for cooking. Using biomass farmers can do their agricultural activities. These days almost 16% of the world's total energy supply from biomass. In developing countries 40% of the rural supply come from the biomass energy. A number of environmental groups are strongly opposing the wide use of forest biomass use because of high carbon emission. For the better realization of biomass advantages and disadvantages, I think this post will be very helpful. Biomass fuels can be great option to replace the fossil fuels as a source of  power generation in rural, developing as well as developed countries

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