People try to get electric power through several methods. They build a MSW (Municipal solid waste) power plant, windpower plant, solar power plant, and so on, depending on the resources availablein their areas. Nowadays, waste power plants using biomass materials are builtfor facility heating, electric power generation, and combined heat and power.
How Waste Power Plant Works with Biomass Material Biomass can be used to produce electric powerthrough several methods. Direct combustion of biomass material is the mostcommon one. Biomass materials are channeled into the combustion chamber througha conveyor system, then burned to heat water in the boiler to get high pressuresteam. The combustion releases stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere,and the remaining ash is used as plantation fertilizer and for roadconstruction. The steam spins the turbine that drives the generator to createelectricity.
Other options are gasification, pyrolysis, andanaerobic digestion. ● Gasification can produce gas with utilizableenergy content by heating biomass which requires less oxygen than needed for acomplete combustion. ● Pyrolysis can yield bio-oil by rapidlyheating the biomass without oxygen. ● Anaerobic digestion can produce biogas from bacteriadecompose organic matter without oxygen.
Common Biomass Materials Used as Fuel in Waste Power Plants Wood is one of the oldest and most abundant types of biomass. Forest product residueslike tree branches, tops, bark, logging slash, and saw mill wastes are usefulas sources of biomass energy.
Energy Crops: Many crops like corn, sugar cane, soy, and canola are also a source ofbiomass energy. In many cases, a portion of the crop is used for energy whilethe other is for food consumption.
Aquatic Algae can be photosynthesized and demonstrate incredible growth ratescompared to land-based plants. But there are numerous challenges likecultivation, harvesting, de-watering, drying, and extraction of oil orcarbohydrate feedstock from aquatic sources.
Agricultural Wastes: After the crops are harvested, agricultural wastes like stalks, husks,straw, pruning, and corn cobs are left. They can be collected, dried, andburned to produce energy.
Humanand Animal Wastes: Manure is one of the biomass fuels for ruralsocieties. Manure collected and dried into cakes can be stacked, stored,traded, and sold for heating and cooking.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW): Waste disposed of by residents and businesses,like wood, paper products, food waste, and yard waste, can provide a source offuel.
How Much Energy Does Biomass Contain? A kilogram of cut grass possesses about 4million joules, also called megajoules (MJ). This amount is slightly moreelectricity than a kilowatt hour. The most commonly used biomass is air-driedwood, which contains around 15 MJ/kg while oven-dried is around 18 MJ/kg2.
Biomass and the Environment Biomass is an integral part of Earth’s carboncycle between all layers of the Earth: atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, andlithosphere. To effectively allow Earth to continue the carbon cycle process,biomass materials, like plants and forests, have to be sustainably farmed asbiomass comes from recently living organisms.