Biomass power is an expanding $1 billion industry with 80 facilities in 20 states that supplies over half of America’s renewable electricity. compared a number of individual European reports on Miscanthus x giganteus carbon sequestration, and found accumulation rates ranging from 0.42 to 3.8 tonnes per hectare per year,[f] with a mean accumulation rate of 1.84 tonne (0.74 tonnes per acre per year),[g] or 25% of total harvested carbon per year. Most primary productivity is carried out by pelagic phytoplankton, not benthic plants.…. further argue that the most successful carbon sequestration in the UK takes place below improved grassland. ", "Any soil disturbance, such as ploughing and cultivation, is likely to result in short-term respiration losses of soil organic carbon, decomposed by stimulated soil microbe populations (Cheng, 2009; Kuzyakov, 2010). It is known as Natural Material.Plants used up a lot of the sun’s energy to make their food (photosynthesis). Successful sequestration is dependent on planting sites, as the best soils for sequestration are those that are currently low in carbon. What you get for that, though, is “non-biomass, no stems, no trim, no chemical extraction — all we use is pure kief,” Macri says. Tilling induces soil aeration, which accelerates the soil carbon decomposition rate, by stimulating soil microbe populations, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. [3][4] Agricultural production releases CO2 and on combustion, a plant's absorbed CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Corrections? Nitrous oxide (N2O) production, with its powerful global warming potential (GWP), could be a significant factor in offsetting CO2 gains (Crutzen et al., 2008) as well as possible acidification and eutrophication of the surrounding environment (Kim & Dale, 2005). Biomass is a renewable energy source because it is produced continuously on the planet, and it will work as long as there is life on the planet. This has identified LUC from arable, in general to lead to increased SOC, with LUC from forests to be associated with reduced SOC and enhanced GHG emissions. [25] Depending on the size of the newly grown biomass, the previously combusted CO2 is partially or fully absorbed. Many of these processes are based in large part on similar coal-based processes, such as the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Some critical research groups (e.g. Biomass energy, or bioenergy, is the energy stored in biomass — that is, nonfossil organic materials such as wood, straw, vegetable oils and wastes from forestry, agriculture and industry, as well as municipal solid waste. Biomass, the weight or total quantity of living organisms of one animal or plant species (species biomass) or of all the species in a community (community biomass), commonly referred to a unit area or volume of habitat. Milner et al. The higher the yield, the more likely CO2 negativity becomes. Proponents argue that there is huge potential for second generation biofuels, but the resources are currently under-utilized. Transmission loss data from the World Bank, sourced from IEA. [s] If biomass is to be utilized for electricity production rather than heat production, note that yields has to be roughly tripled in order to compete with wind, hydro and solar, as the current heat to electricity conversion efficiency is only 30–40%. Biomass fuels, including wood, wood waste, straw, manure, sugar cane, and many other byproducts from a variety of agricultural processes, continue to be a major source of energy in much of the developing world. Oven dry biomass in general, including wood, miscanthus[56] and napier[57] grass, have a calorific content of roughly 18 GJ/t. The most significant reductions have been noted for heat and power cases. Smil estimates that the average area-specific power densities for biofuels, wind, hydro and solar power production are 0.30 W/m2, 1 W/m2, 3 W/m2 and 5 W/m2, respectively (power in the form of heat for biofuels, and electricity for wind, hydro and solar). The total annual SOC change across GB in the transition from arable to Miscanthus if all nonconstrained land was planted with would be 3.3 Tg C yr, "In summary, we have quantified the impacts of LUC [land use change] to bioenergy cropping on SOC and GHG balance. It is the total amount of CO2 emissions and absorption together that determines if the GHG life cycle cost of a biofuel project is positive, neutral or negative. However, some other studies (particularly on transport fuels) have indicated the opposite, that is that bioenergy systems can increase GHG emissions (Smith & Searchinger, 2012) or fail to achieve increasingly stringent GHG savings thresholds. The main components of plant biomass are carbohydrates (approximately 75%, dry weight) and lignin (approximately 25%), which can vary with plant type. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [h] A large meta-study of 138 individual studies, done by Harris et al., revealed that second generation perennial grasses (miscanthus and switchgrass) planted on arable land on average store five times more carbon in the ground than short rotation coppice or short rotation forestry plantations (poplar and willow). The total amount of organic material produced by living organisms in a particular area within a set period of time, called the primary or secondary productivity (the former for plants, the latter for animals), is usually measured in units of energy, such as gram calories or kilojoules per square metre per year. [13] Third-generation biofuels refer to those derived from microalgae. Sewage sludge is another source of biomass. [27][28][29] In 2009 a Swedish study of the giant brown haze that periodically covers large areas in South Asia determined that two thirds of it had been principally produced by residential cooking and agricultural burning, and one third by fossil-fuel burning. Organic materials, such as plant matter and manure, that have not become fossilized and are used as a fuel or energy source. Therefore, energy production has become the topic that we most commonly discuss lately. A Combined Overview of Combustion, Pyrolysis, and Gasification of Biomass. You will notice that water, wind, sun, and biomass (vegetation) are all available naturally. Biomass is composed of organic materials, therefore, large amounts of land are required to produce the fuel. ", "While the initial premise regarding bioenergy was that carbon recently captured from the atmosphere into plants would deliver an immediate reduction in GHG emission from fossil fuel use, the reality proved less straightforward. Biomass can refer to species biomass, which is the mass of one or more species, or to community biomass, which is the mass of all species in the community. [citation needed] Upgrading to higher grade fuels can be achieved by different methods, broadly classified as thermal, chemical, or biochemical. Dedicated perennial energy crops, produced on existing, lower grade, agricultural land, offer a sustainable alternative with significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon sequestration when produced with appropriate management (Crutzen et al., 2008; Hastings et al., 2008, 2012; Cherubini et al., 2009; Dondini et al., 2009a; Don et al., 2012; Zatta et al., 2014; Richter et al., 2015). Sugars present in this biomass are fermented to produce bioethanol, an alcohol fuel which serve as an additive to gasoline, or in a fuel cell to produce electricity.[12]. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/science/biomass, biomass - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The varied results displayed in the graph highlights this fact. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In order to match these power densities, plantation yields must reach 17 t/ha, 50 t/ha and 83 t/ha for wind, hydro and solar respectively. renewable and sustainable source of energy used to create electricity or other forms of power [60], FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimate that forest plantation yields range from 1 to 25 m3 per hectare per year globally, equivalent to 0.02–0.7 W/m2 (0.4–12.2 t/ha):[p], Smil estimate that natural temperate mixed forests yield on average 1.5–2 dry tonnes per hectare (2–2,5 m3, equivalent to 0.1 W/m2), ranging from 0.9 m3 in Greece to 6 m3 in France).[61]. ", "Significant reductions in GHG emissions have been demonstrated in many LCA studies across a range of bioenergy technologies and scales (Thornley et al., 2009, 2015). In the industry, most other biomass definitions also include the flowers, but with hemp, the flower is only also considered biomass after extraction has taken place. All three of these can then get turned into energy. 3 confirmed either no change or a gain of SOC [soil organic carbon] (positive) through planting Miscanthus on arable land across England and Wales and only a loss of SOC (negative) in parts of Scotland. [18], Glycoside hydrolases are the enzymes involved in the degradation of the major fraction of biomass, such as polysaccharides present in starch and lignocellulose. Akhtar, A., Krepl, V., & Ivanova, T. (2018). Biofuel s, renewable liquid fuels made from biomass, are used to power vehicles or generate electricity through fuel cells. 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