Advantages and Disadvantages of Biomass Energy
The energy crisis that the world is facing today has made many organizations, governments and individuals to consider the advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy. Biomass energy refers to a form of energy that is created when waste products are burnt and the created heat is used to produce energy that is then converted into electricity. Finding an improved and new renewable energy is a primary goal for most scientists globally. Biomass energy is among the forms of energy that are being subjected to scientific studies. This is because apart from producing electricity, the process of producing this energy helps in waste reduction. Nevertheless, just like the other forms of energy, there are advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy.
Advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy
There will always be biomass sources which include garbage, manure and crops. Once a crop that has been grown throughout the year is converted into fuel; another one is grown to act as fuel for the next year. Renewing biomass takes the same, long duration that gathering or growing takes. However, there are cases when this can take months.
- Carbon neutral
Biomass is actually part of a carbon cycle. This is the major advantage of biomass energy. Plants absorb carbon from the environment or atmosphere for purposes of photosynthesis. Once plants are burnt or when they decay, this carbon is released to the atmosphere. Since this is a cycle, this carbon is absorbed by the next crop. This cycle continues ensuring that the carbon amount that is released by biomass fuel to the atmosphere and the carbon that is extracted from the atmosphere by plants is balanced. This is precisely why biomass energy does not cause global warming. It is a clean fuel or energy.
- It helps in reducing waste
To create biomass energy, waste has to be burned. This waste can be lumber scraps or manure and other trash. With the landfills overflowing, biomass energy’s production can be a great option due to its ability to enhance waste reduction.
There are large quantities of biomass across the world. This means that this energy can be produced in any part of the world.
When compared to oil and coal, biomass energy is inexpensive. Typically, the cost of producing the same amount of energy from fossil fuels is 1/3 less. This implies that every year, you will spend 1/3 less when you use biomass energy to heat your home. This can lead to considerable savings over time.
- Space requirements
Large spaces are required for the processes that are involved in harnessing biomass energy. Storing this energy needs particularly large areas.
- Air pollution
The techniques of producing biomass energy which include combustion or pyrolysis cause air pollution sometimes. Carbon emissions that result from the production of this energy are what cause global warming. Additionally, nitrogen oxides are produced when power is extracted from the biomass. These are volatile organic and particulate compounds. However, it is possible to stop the release of these emissions into the air or environment through the use of specialized fertilizers.
- Questionable efficiency
Biomass energy is relatively inefficient when compared to other forms of energy such as fossil fuels. When compared to gasoline, ethanol, which is a biodiesel, is inefficient. To work properly, it is mixed with gasoline.
Why advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy should be considered
Biomass has many uses. Being a relatively new power source, it is important to consider its advantages and disadvantages to determine if it is worth exploiting. The advancements in biomass energy are beyond the traditional uses of this energy. They have made mass-producing and harvesting this energy possible. This is why governments, individuals and institutions should consider the advantages and disadvantages of this energy.
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