Biomass is nothing more than organic material that, through a series of processes, can be transformed into energy. The burning of wood is a classic example of transforming a biodegradable material into thermal energy. Agricultural byproducts and residues, along with certain substances that come from either plants or animals and refuse resulting from human communities, they can all be turned into energy by following the according processes. Due to the immense quantities of material, biomass has the highest energy potential on the planet.
By simply burning it, biomass can be turned into energy. However this particular process isn’t really “healthy” for the environment. That being said, it’s a better alternative to burning coal. This process generates thermal energy, which can either be used for heating or turned into mechanical or electrical types of energy.
Biogas, or bioethanol, can be produced by fermenting certain types of biomass. This can be used as alternative fuel for engines with internal combustion. The vegetable oil type of biomass can be used to produce biodiesel by treating it with alcohol. After going through a purification process, biodiesel can be used for diesel engines as an alternative to petrol based fuels. All these techniques of biomass usage and transformation into energy are much less damaging to the environment and organizations from around the world came to the same conclusion as they promote using biomass instead of fossil fuels.
As more and more new technologies are discovered, biomass is getting the attention it deserves. Production costs drop and investors help to promote it in order to lower the levels of greenhouse effect.