Biomass fuel is fuel sourced or derived from living (or recently living) organisms. This generally consists almost entirely of plant material, often wood, but can also be plant and animal matter.
Any carbon within these materials has been previously absorbed from the atmosphere as part of its lifecycle. This happens in plants as they use CO2 during photosynthesis and for animals that consume carbon as food (by eating plants or by eating animals that eat plants).
The result is that no extra carbon is released into the atmosphere during the combustion of these fuels. Only carbon recently consumed is put back into the environment and there is no net increase in carbon emissions. Compare this to fossil fuels that overall add carbon to our atmosphere and we begin to see one of the many reasons people prefer biofuel.
Because sources of biomass are so abundant and easy to create, they are able to undercut the costs of other fuels, such as fossil, solar and wind. Biomass fuels can also be created from waste products that would usually be discarded; in the UK a major source of Biomass Fuel is chicken droppings. The use of abundant sources as fuel results in power with a cheaper cost/MWh compared to other kinds of power.
The use of biofuels also has the added benefit of offsetting the use of other carbon creating fuels. Heating your home using a biomass boiler/heater means that you are not burning gas or coal to heat your home, lowering carbon emissions and your carbon footprint. This principle is multiplied when using a biomass boiler for heating/powering in industrial settings and helps contribute to a business’s green credentials.
Advances in biomass boiler efficiency mean that they can range between 89% and 92% efficiency. Conventional gas boilers offer a similar, yet marginally lower, efficiency at between 88% and 91% which means that switching to biomass doesn’t have to lower or bottleneck energy/heat demands.
The government even has a series of Domestic and Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) that make the transition to the greener energy even more appealing than it already is.
If you’re building or renovating a home or looking to heat or power a business, take a look into Biomass energy and see what it can do for your business.
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