Biomass is energy derived from plants and animals organic matter. Decomposed trees, leaves, crops and animal waste are a great source of biomass fuel. Plants convert energy from the sun into chemical energy through a process called photosynthesis. Animals get this energy through eating the plants.
1. Renewable energy: Dead plants, garbage, and manure are readily available making it a renewable source of energy.
2. Energy is Stored: Unlike solar energy and wind, biomass energy can be stored for future use.
3. Reduce dependency on fossil fuel: Biomass is an alternative source of energy which utilizes natural materials to produce energy locally.
4. Cost-effective: Biomass energy is less costly as compared to fossil fuels like coal and oil. Biomass energy reduces your expenses by 1/3 of the total fossil fuel consumed.
5. Carbon neutral: During photosynthesis,the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by the plants. Once the plants’ decay, the carbon is released back into the atmosphere. This results to balance between the biomass released and the amount that is absorbed back. As some plants decay, other new plants are grown to neutralize the amount of carbon released during biomass production.
6. Availability: There is plenty of organic waste and agricultural waste produced each day making biomass energy easily available all over the world.
7. Waste management: Generating energy from the waste products have a positive impact on the environment. There will be no more dumping since the waste material will be used to produce more biomass energy.
8. Multiple uses: Biomass can be used at homes for cooking and heating, for crop-drying the firm produce and in the production of biogas.
9. Reduce air pollution: Over the years, biomass has replaced fossil fuels leading to reduced air pollution in the environment.
10. Add value to crops: Fuel from farm waste acts as a secondary product for adding value to the crops.
1. Expensive: Biomass extraction is very expensive. Sometimes the biomass projects are abandoned because the extraction is not worth the price. Large storage areas for different types of raw biomass are needed which are quite expensive.
2. Space requirement: Biomass power plant requires a large area and also to recycle the waste products a lot of water is required.
3. Nitrogen Oxide pollution: Biomass extraction process results in the production of ethanol which increases the amount of nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere.
4. Environmental damage: Biomass produces more energy than sun and wind. Using biomass energy results to release of gases like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide which results in air pollution. The gas also contributes to global warming.
5. Insufficient facilities: During seasonal supply, biomass energy plant face space shortage to store various components from different biomass supply sources.
6. Relies heavily on natural materials: A lot of natural materials and other waste products have to be burned out to produce enough power for heating.
7. Not efficient: Some of the biomass end products have to be combined in order to function efficiently. E.g., for a complete engine combustion, ethanol is combined with gasoline.
8. Land wastage: The land used to grow crops for biomass plants cannot be used to grow food sources.
9. Leads to deforestation: One of the major sources of biomass energy is wood. To produce power large amounts of wood and other waste materials are burned. Burning a lot of wood to produce biomass energy can lead to deforestation.
10. Not clean when burned: When wood and other natural materials are burned, they produce an unclean substance which causes pollution.