Biomass Energy...

Renewable electricity that needs publicity!

Discovery

Biomass energy was found when the first cave man discovered fire. Biomass energy was first started when caveman started fires, they burned wood for heat at night. This energy was not given its name until the 1970's. Scientists became interested because of the possibility of replacing fossil fuels with a less expensive product.

Science and Technology

Tree branches and wood scraps are found in factories and farms and put into big trucks. All of the wood is is brought to a biomass energy power plant. The scraps are fed to a furnace. This furnace burns the wood and the heat is used to boil water in a boiler. The energy in the steam is used to operate turbines and generators. Biomass energy is stored in good condition and kept away from moisture because it will absorb moisture.
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Cost

Biomass energy has a cost of $0.08 to $0.15 per kilowatt hour


Coal has a cost of $0.12 per kilowatt hour

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Positive Impacts

Biomass energy production helps clean the environment by cleaning old tree branches and scrap wood from forests, which makes more room in landfills. Biomass fuels also produce almost no sulfur emissions, and help lessen acid rain. Biomass fuels help to recycle atmospheric carbon, by doing this it minimizes global warming impacts. Lastly, activity associated with biomass supplies over 66,000 jobs in the U.S..
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Negative Impacts

Biomass energy plants use 20,000 to 50,000 gallons of water per megawatt-hour. This water is used to generate steam for electricity and then released back into the water at a higher temperature. When released back into the water it disrupts the local ecosystem. Water is also used for the production of energy crops in low rainfall areas. The nutrient runoff can affect the local water recourses. Biomass energy also releases harmful toxins that can be released into the atmosphere.

Use Today

Biomass energy is used for electricity, cooking, and heat. Biomass energy is also used in the U.S. and in some third world countries.

Obstacles to Widespread Use

Biomass energy pollutes the water by releasing the water back into it's source at a higher temperature. If too much is produced it can kill the ecosystem by polluting the water. It also cuts down some trees and by cutting down trees it can cut down the oxygen supply.
What is Biomass?