The term "biomass" means any plant derived
organic matter available on a renewable basis, including dedicated energy crops and trees, agricultural food and feed crops, agricultural crop wastes and residues, wood wastes and residues, aquatic
plants, animal wastes, municipal wastes, and other waste materials. Handling technologies
, collection logistics and infrastructure are important aspects of the biomass resource supply chain.
Biopower technologies are proven electricity generation
options in the United States, with 10 gigawatts of installed capacity. All of today's capacity is based on mature direct¬combustion technology. Future efficiency improvements
will include co-firing of biomass in existing coal fired boilers and the introduction of high-efficiency gasification
combined¬cycle systems, fuel cell systems, and modular systems.
A variety of fuels can be made from biomass
resources, including the liquid fuels ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and gaseous fuels such as hydrogen and methane. Biofuels research and development
is composed of three main areas: producing the fuels, finding applications and uses of the fuels, and creating a distribution
Biobased chemicals and materials are commercial
orindustrial products, other than food and feed, derived from biomass feedstocks. Biobased products include green chemicals, renewable plastics, natural fibers
, and natural structural materials. Many of these products can replace products and materials traditionally derived from petrochemicals, but new and improved processing technologies
will be required.
The economic, social, environmental
, and ecological consequences in growing and using biomass are important to understand and consider when addressing technological, market, and policy issues associated with bioenergy systems
An emerging concept for the UEMOA to be aware of is biorefineries. A biorefinery
involves the co-production of a spectrum of bio-based products (food, feed, materials, chemicals) and energy (fuels, power, heat) from biomass.
Any bioenergy production will lead to a removal of biomass
from the land. This potentially leads to soil degradation, with negative effects on soil productivity, habitats, and off-site pollution. Pyrolysis , coupled with organic matter returned through biochar
, addresses this dilemma, as about half of the original carbon can be returned to the soil. Biochar
is a fine-grained charcoal high in organic carbon and largely resistant to decomposition.
Demand from energy consumers has mostly coalesced around these three factors reliable, affordable
, and environmentally. Each goal has responsible for the energy source. These trends will likely through two mutually reinforcing virtuous circles. The deployment of new technologies will help further decrease
costs and improve integration.
Biomass is one of the most natural forms of H2-rich compounds consisting mainly of carbohydrates
. Both amorphous (lignin) as well as crystalline and semi-crystalline regions (cellulose and hemicellulose) of biomass are rich in hydrogen and, thus, they serve as potentia
l resources for the production of H2 using various chemical and thermochemica
Direct combustion is the simplest and most widely used bioenergy
technology for converting biomass to heat which can then be used for space heating or cooling, to heat water, for use in industrial processes, or to produce electricity via a steam engine or turbine.
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed
using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis.