Here is an essay on ‘Biomass’ for class 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Biomass’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay # 1. Introduction to Biomass:
Biomass, a renewable energy source, is biological material living or recently living organisms like wood, waste, hydrogen gas and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to produce electricity or heat. In this sense, living biomass can also be included, as plants can also generate electricity while alive.
The most conventional way in which biomass is used, however, still relies on direct incineration. Forest residues like dead trees, branches and tree stumps, yard clipping, wood chips and garbage are often employed for this. However, biomass also includes plant or animal matter used for producing fibres or chemicals. It excludes organic materials like fossil fuels which have been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.
Industrial biomass can be grown from numerous types of plants, including miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow, sorghum, sugarcane and a variety of topic tree species, ranging, from eucalyptus to oil palm (palm oil). The particular plant used is usually not important to the end products, but it does affect the processing of the raw material.
Although the fossil fuels have their origin in ancient biomass, they are not considered biomass by the generally accepted definition because they contain carbon that has been “out” of the carbon cycle for a very long time. Their combustion therefore disturbs the CO2 content in the atmosphere.
Biomass is carbon, hydrogen and oxygen based. Nitrogen and small quantities of other atoms, including alkali, alkaline earth and heavy metals can be found as well. Metals are often found in functional molecules such as the porphyrins which include chlorophyll which contains magnesium.
Plants in particular combine water and carbon dioxide to sugar building blocks. The required energy is produced from light via photosynthesis based on chlorophyll. On average, between 0.1 and 1% of the available light is stored as chemical energy in plants. The sugar building blocks are the starting point for the major fractions found in all terrestrial plants, lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose.
Biomass does not add CO2 to the atmosphere as it absorbs the same amount of carbon in growing as it releases when consumed as a fuel. Its advantage is that it can be used to produce electricity with the same equipment that is now being used for burning fossil fuels. Biomass is an important source of energy and most important fuel worldwide after coal, oil and natural gas. Bio-energy, in the form of biogas, which is derived from biomass, is expected to become one of the key energy resources for global sustainable development. Biomass offers higher energy efficiency through form of biogas than by direct burning.
Bio-energy is being used for cooking, mechanical applications, and pumping, power generation.
Biomass energy is derived from five distinct energy sources:
(iv) Landfill gases, and
(v) Alcohol fuel.
Wood energy is derived both from direct use of harvested wood as a fuel and from wood waste streams. The largest source of energy from wood is pulping liquor or “black liquor”, a waste product from processes of the pulp paper and paperboard industry. Wood energy is the second-largest source of biomass energy. The main contributors of waste energy are municipal solid waste (MSW), manufacturing waste and landfill gas. Biomass alcohol fuel or ethanol is derived primarily from sugarcane and corn. It can be used directly as a fuel or as an additive to gasoline.
Biomass can be converted to other usable forms of energy like methane gas or transportation fuels like ethanol or biodiesel. Methane gas is the main ingredient of natural gas. Smelly stuff, like rotting garbage and agricultural and human waste, release methane gas—also called “landfill gas” or “biogas”. Crops like corn and sugar cane can be fermented to produce the transportation fuel, ethanol. Biodiesel, another transportation fuel, can be produced from left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats. Also, biomass to liquids (BTLs) and cellulosic ethanol are still under research.
There are a number of technological options available to make use of a wide variety of biomass types as a renewable energy source. Conversion technologies may release the energy directly, in the form of heat or electricity, or may convert it to another form, such as liquid biofuel or combustible biogas. While for some classes of biomass resource there may be a number of usage options, for others there may be only one appropriate technology.
The practical applications of biomass energy include biogas plants, biomass briquetting, electricity generation, bio-fuel etc.
Biogas is a clean and efficient fuel, generated from cow- dung, human waste or any kind of biological materials derived through anaerobic fermentation process. The biogas consists of 60% methane with rest mainly CO2. Biogas is a safe fuel for cooking and lighting. By-product is usable as high-grade manure.
Biomass fuels account for about one-third of the total fuel used in the country. It is the most important fuel used in over 90% of the rural households and about 15% of the urban house-holds. The types of biogas plant designs popular are- floating drum type, fixed dome-type and bag-type portable digester.
The process of densifying loose agro-waste into a solidified biomass of high density, which can be conveniently used as a fuel, is called biomass briquetting. It is pollution free and ecofriendly.
Essay # 2. Electricity Generation Using Biomass:
From the ancient time to the present, the most common way to capture the energy from biomass was to burn it to make heat. Since the industrial revolution this biomass fired heat has produced steam power and more recently this biomass fired steam power has been used to produce electricity. Burning biomass in conventional boilers can have numerous environmental and air-quality and advantages over burning fossil fuels.
For biomass power plants generating electricity, it is pretty much like a fossil fuel power plant.
Advances in recent years have shown that there are even more efficient and cleaner ways to use biomass. It can be converted into liquid fuels, for example or “cooked” in a process called “gasification” to produce combustible gases, which reduces various kinds of emissions from biomass combustion, especially particulates.
Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be converted directly into liquid fuels—biofuels—for our transportation requirements (cars, trucks, buses, aeroplanes and trains). Two most common types of biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.
Essay # 3. Benefits of Biomass:
If performed well, biomass energy brings numerous environmental benefits, particularly reducing many types of air pollution and net carbon emissions. Biomass can be grown and harvested in ways that protect soil quality, avoid erosion and maintain wildlife habitat. However, the environmental benefits of biomass depend on developing beneficial biomass resources and avoiding harmful resources, which having policies that can distinguish between them.
In addition to its many environmental benefits, beneficial biomass offers economic and energy security benefits. By growing our fuels at home, the requirement of importing fossil fuels from other states/countries is reduced and consequently, expenses and exposure to disruptions in that supply are reduced. Many states that import coal from other states/countries could instead use local biomass resources.
With increasing biomass development, farmers and forest owners gain valuable new markets for their crop residues, new energy crops and forest residues and we could substantially reduce our global warming emissions.
Essay # 4. Biomass Energy in India:
India being an agrarian country there is easy availability of agricultural based mass which can be used to produce energy. Burning of biomass is the easiest and oldest method of producing energy but also the least efficient.
Over 70% of the population of India is in villages. Their electricity and steady supply of water are crucial for survival and for economic growth and social development.
Biomass exists in these villages and needs to be tapped intelligently to provide not only electricity but also water for irrigation and cultivation of fields for further increasing production of biomass (either as a main product or as a byproduct), ensuring steady generation of electrical power. An added bonus is the availability of waste biomass from the biomass gasified plant to be used as fertilizer.
Most common source of biomass is wood waste and agricultural wastes. In India development of biomass gasification has received serious attention with establishment of biomass research centers and gasifier action research centres at various locations spread all over the country.
These institutions have played a key role in upgradation and adaption of suitable technologies, testing, monitoring and development of biomass gasification systems. Studies reveal that the poor grade of land suitable only for scrub vegetation can be turned to advantage and form an excellent source of biomass—fast growing trees and shrubs.
In India more than 2,000 gasifiers are estimated to have been established with a capacity exceeding 22 MW and a number of villages have been electrified with biomass gasifier based generators. MNES has actively promoted R&D programmes for efficient utilization of biomass and agro wastes and further efforts are on.
Biomass gasification offers immense scope and potential for water pumping, electricity generation, heat generation for cooking gas—smokeless environment and rural electrification for better health care, better education and improved quality of life.