Energy from biomass

In principle biomass is organically stored solar energy. The storage occurs through photosynthesis in plants and via the plants in animals as well. According to this definition, coal, oil and gas may also be considered as biomass; after all they originate from dead plant and animal residue. As we understand it today, biomass also has a temporal dimension. It is decisive for our climate that the growth process of biomass - while it is converting carbon, mostly from the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air, into organic matter - closely coincides with the release, e.g. by energetic utilization. This period can last several hundred years for trees and only a few weeks for other plants.

In contrast to fossil fuels there is no accumulation of the harmful greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere. In a sustained cultivation only that amount of CO2 is consumed by plant growth that is released by the energetic utilization. Traditionally the biomass that is utilized energetically the most is wood, which has been used for heating for hundreds and thousands of years. Grain, corn, rape or energetic grasses are further renewable resources. Agricultural residues and by-products such as straw, liquid manure or dung are also biomass that can be energetically utilized. Biomass is contained in waste as well. Not only is biological waste of biogenic origin, but so is sewage sludge and more than half of our domestic waste.

Veröffentlicht in: media mind (Hrsg.): Umwelttechnologie und Energie in Bayern, Profile, Porträts, Perspektiven, Partner der Welt, München 2005

Copyright: © Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden
Source: Veröffentlichungen 2005 (August 2005)
Pages: 6
Price: € 3,00
Autor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Faulstich
Dr. Doris Schieder
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Quicker

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