Biomass Biofuel

Can Biomass Replace Fossil Fuel?

By: Jolene Reddick

One of the greatest challenges of society is climate change is the focus on how we can use biomass to displace fossil fuel resources. To consider this an option, you would have to look at resources; where are they, how costly they are and how much can be used to displace fossil fuel resources.

So, what exactly are fossil fuels? Fossil fuels are a non-renewable energy source that consists of coal, oil, natural gas, and other sources. It comes from dead bodies in plant matter that have been decomposed and turned into energy over thousands of years. However, fossil fuels have benefits and drawbacks.

Some of the benefits are that it’s not too costly, it’s easy to buy and sell, lots of people are interested in using it. Some of the drawbacks are that there’s finite supply, produces a high level of carbon emissions, harmful to the body and takes a very long time to tun into energy.

This is where biomass comes in. Biomass is a renewable resource; plants, animal carcasses, the food scraps we throw out or put into the compost bin are all forms of biomass. However, just like fossil fuels, biomass also have benefits and drawbacks to their use. Some of the benefits are that it is renewable, it is easy to get and apply to a product, it’s a low carbon emission fuel and it’s easier to burn to get electricity, heat, and oils. Some of the drawbacks though are slightly more expensive than fossil fuels and is a bit stinky.

Fossil fuels are extremely polluting, which is why we want to get rid of them. But it is hard to stop using them all at once because we use them quite a bit. We use coal to generate electricity; from crude oil we make gasoline as well as using the oil to make products like plastic.

To make sure we use less fossil fuels, we need to find an alternative renewable resource. In short, biomass is nothing more but raw materials like grasses, leftover wood pallets, waste from home or agricultural and horticultural companies who use it to generate electricity.

Below is a link written by Science Direct on the conversion of biomass into biofuel.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960852414016526
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