Biomass Potentials in Nigeria

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Biomass as the solar energy stored in chemical form in plant and animal materials is among the most precious and versatile resources on earth. It provides not only food but also energy, building materials, paper, fabrics, medicines and chemicals. Biomass has been used for energy purposes ever since man discovered fire. Today, biomass fuels can be utilized for tasks ranging from heating the house of fueling a car and running a computer. In the urban centers of the country, the principal energy sources are electricity and fossil fuel; while firewood and charcoal are peripheral, although also important sources. In the rural areas, firewood remains a principal source while the use of electricity and fossil fuels is increasing. In both the urban and rural areas of Nigeria, the generation of energy from livestock manure, crop chaff and offer agricultural biomass is not widely practiced despite the fact that studies; (Sasse, 1984; Kovacs, 1985; Evans et al 1985; and Waddle, 1990), have shown this to be possible and hold much potential for areas of the world suffering from energy shortages. The poor energy supply situation in Nigeria calls for investigation into alternative sources of energy so as to ensure cogent improvements. India and China for example, are developing countries whose energy supply situations used to be as precarious as Nigeria’s present, but the two countries had since improve the situation through, research and widespread application of biomass technology (Moulik 1985). Biomass is considered to be one of the key renewable resources of the future at both small-and large-scale levels. It already supplies 14% of the world’s primary energy consumption (Hall et al 1992). But for three quarters of the world’s population living in developing countries biomass is the most important source of energy. With increases in population and per capita demand, depletion of fossil-fuel resources, the demand for biomass is expected to increase...
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