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Biomass Energy
 Was used ever since humans discovered fire
 Was used as primary source for heat and cooking
until the industrial revolution, 1860’s
Primary Source
 Crop residues
 Energy plantations
 Animal and industrial waste
 Needed fields of plants and trees to maintain enough
fuel to keep the plant running
 Converts waste produced naturally
 In theory, fuel source can never run out
 Available all over the world and forms from
 Can be converted into liquid gases
 Uses large areas of land
 Land use limits area
 Overuse can cause deforestation
 Expensive to turn in to alcohols to make the
 Creates as much carbon dioxide as burning fossils
Environmental Effects
 If not burned properly, then big contributor to global
warming and greenhouse gases
 Produces air pollution, and more environmental
issues then any other form of producing electricity
other then hydropower
 Carbon dioxide
 Carbon monoxide
 Hydrocarbons
 Oxygenated organics
 Free radicals and chlorinated organics
Geographic Distribution
 Anywhere there is plant life of animals are
 One third of the worlds population burns wood and
other organic material.
Cost to Maintain
 Maryland based 60 megawatt power plant cost
approximately $250,000,000 to build
 Annual biomass cost: $1,303,200
How It works
 Needs the biomass form to work
 Many different types of ways to convert to power
 Most common is similar to a coal-burning power
First, gets turned into gases and it sent through filter
Second, burned in boilers to create heat
Next, heat turns water into steam
Then, steam turns turbine connected to generator
Finally, generator produces electricity and then is sent to
homes and businesses
How much is there?
 Enough to replace all power created from nuclear
energy, or replace half of nations gasoline use
 We only use 7% each year to generate electricity
Resource Question #1
 What are the different ways to convert to
Thermal conversion
Chemical conversion
Biochemical conversion
Resource Question #2
 How much profit do biomass plants earn
each year?
$5,000,000-$15,000,000 per year
Work cited
The book p. 259