How It Works
Biomass is any organic matter like trees, plants, or animal waste that can be used as an energy source. Energy comes from the sun through a process called photosynthesis and is released when biomass is burned or decomposes.
Leftover wood and crop waste from factories and farms can be burned to produce electricity.
- Wood scraps, sawdust and crop waste are collected from farms or manufacturing plants
- The waste is burned to heat water and create steam
- Steam is sent to a turbine, which spins to power a generator
- The generator creates electricity and sends to transmission lines
Waste produced by cows or other farm animals creates a gas called methane, which can be captured to produce electricity.
- Animal waste is collected in a large tank or pond with bacteria
- As bacteria decomposes the waste (i.e. methane) is released
- Methane is then burned to heat water and generate steam
- Steam turns a generator turbine to create electricity, which is sent to transmission lines
- The word “biomass” means natural material
- If you’ve ever been near a campfire or a fireplace, you’ve witnessed biomass energy through the burning of wood
- Biomass has been around since the beginning of time when man burned wood for heating and cooking
- Wood was the biggest energy provider in the world in the 1800′s
- Biogas can also be captured and sold as fuel if not used to generate electricity on site
- Biomass is a renewable energy source because trees and crops can always be grown
- Biomass produces about 1.5% of the energy used in the United States