Types of Biomass Energy
Wood biomass energy is the most commonly found biomass energy. For thousands of years humans have burned wood to keep themselves warm and to cook food. Many industrial plants also use wood and wood wastes to produce their own steam and electricity. Energy derived from wood biomass accounts for 2 percent of the energy used in the United States.
Agricultural biomass includes matter from many plants and animals. Energy can be developed from animals waste, crops, trees and grasses. The more widely known use of agricultural biomass is the production of fuels from energy crops such as corn and soybeans. Most researchers believe agricultural biomass energy could sustain much of the world’s energy needs without threatening the environment.
Waste Biomass is collected from municipal waste management systems around the country and includes organic garbage such as food scraps, lawn clippings and leaves. All of this organic matter, which would have been uselessly discarded otherwise, contains energy that can be harnessed to help power homes and business around the country.
Sometimes organic wastes end up in massive landfills around the country. As this waste decomposes it creates a potentially dangerous gas called methane. Often this gas is burned off to prevent it from harming people; however, researchers are studying ways to collect and treat landfill gas to use it as a fuel.