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A potential renewable energy resource development and utilization of biomass energy

I. Introduction
II. Biomass resource and its energy value
III. Utilization of biomass
IV. Prospect of biomass utilization

Wang Mengjie & Ding Suzhen
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering Research & Planning Beijing, P.R. China.

Paper No.9408


One seventh of total energy consumption is from biomass which is the main energy resource for over 1.5 billion people in the world. Biomass energy is the only one which has both the property of fossil fuel and characteristics which mean that it can be stored, renewed and transferred. It is less restricted by natural conditions. Biomass energy can be transferred to useful thermal energy, electrical energy and the fuel as power by means of direct combustion, gasification and liquidation. High-grade combustible gas like CO, H2 and methane can be formed by the gasification of biomass. Biogas can be produced by anaerobic digestion of biomass and liquid fuel using, for example, thermalization, biochemistry, machinery and chemistry.

Key Words: biomass energy, energy, value, development and utilization

I. Introduction

Energy is the material basis on which human beings rely and carry out economic development. Its reasonable development and efficient utilization relates to the future of the world. Renewable biomass energy occupies an important position and plays a decisive role in the present world energy structure. According to statistics, one seventh of the total world energy consumption is from biomass. In developing countries, the proportion of biomass in total energy consumption is even more. At present, about 1.5 billion of the world population has biomass as its main energy resource. So, how to use biomass energy, a kind of potential renewable energy resource, more efficiently and make it play an important role in the coming century. This is an issue which is being paid more and more attention.

II. Biomass resource and its energy value

Biomass energy is the roost renewable energy resource in the world. Like a great solar chemical industry plant, it spreads in plants all over land and water throughout the world which transfer continuously solar energy into chemical energy which is stored in the inner part of plants in the form of organic matter. So, a kind of abundant renewable energy - biomass energy is composed.

About 120 billion tons of biomass, the energy capacity of which is five times the total present energy consumption in the world, is formed each year by means of photosynthesis (see Table 1) . But only 1% of the total energy capacity has been used as energy. It can supply about 14% of total energy consumption in the world.

China is relatively rich in biomass energy resources. Five billion tons of biomass can be produced in the whole country annually, among which 700 million tons of it is from the agricultural sector. In rural energy consumption in China, biomass energy takes up about 70%.

Biomass energy is the only one that has both the property of fossil fuel and characteristics which mean that it can be stored, renewed and transferred. It is less limited by natural conditions. According to where it is found, biomass energy can be divided into forest biomass, agricultural biomass and aquatic biomass. It can be divided into one-time energy resource and two-times energy resource in the form of forming process. The former refers to various forest, agricultural crops, grass and aquatic plants that are from photosynthesis and the later refers to biomass energy that is produced indirectly, including animal manure, multiple organic waste, organic waste water, effluent sludge as well as other organic wastes formed in industry and agriculture processing. All this matter contains abundant energy.

III. Utilization of biomass

A few centuries ago, biomass was the most important energy resource. At the present day with advanced science...
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