Biomass A Sustainable Way For Domestic Heating Environmental Sciences Essay

Based on Low Carbon Transition Plan 2008, UK authorities is traveling to bring forth around 30 % of its electricity from low C ways ( hydro, air current, tides and biomass energy ) before 2020 to avoid the unsafe impacts of altering clime.

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Biomass is now playing an progressively of import function in energy sectors and it accounts for more than 80 % of the entire renewable energy use in 2008. As a dominant renewable energy, biomass are utilizing widely in co-firing, combined heat & A ; power ( CHP ) coevals and only- warming undertakings. Furthermore, the small-scale warming system has been proven to be the mature engineering and has been successfully used in Australia, Denmark and Finland for many old ages.

Similar to other renewable energy ( tidal, air current and solar energy ) , the chief barriers to implement the biomass energy can be included as the big cost on feedstock coevals, uncomplete authorities policy and non engineering for large-scale utilizing.

The aim of this essay is to analysis the expected benefits of biomass and the small-scale infinite warming system and the jobs in the farther development. Some basic information about biomass will be presented and it attempts to discourse the barriers of replacing the conventional warming systems with biomass 1s in current position and farther development both from the house proprietor ‘s and engineering developer ‘s position.

Background information about biomass and domestic warming

After Renewable Duty ‘s publication, biomass now accounts for about 80 % of the renewable electricity and that is about 1 % of the entire electricity production. On the other manus, infinite warming is responsible to about 50 % of the entire C emanations and about 30 % of domestic energy demand in UK, harmonizing to national energy statistics.

Driven by the turning energy demand and altering clime, the cardinal authorities had set an ambitious mark to cut down the domestic energy usage and by 2016 all the new places will be zero C breathing. ( DECC, 2009 low C passage program ) . Consequently, the high-efficiency biomass heating systems may wipe out the immense loads on infinite warming and C dioxide reduction.

Biomass energy is a sort of less direct solar energy merely like tidal and moving ridge, the chemical energy stored in it can be provided and has been provided us sufficient energy for 1000s of old ages. With modern engineering, biomass can be regarded as a nearly-zero C emitting, sufficient resource and sustainable energy. It is a polyphase stuff ( gas, liquid and solid ) which involved virgin wood, agribusiness wastes, energy harvests, nutrient and industrial wastes, sewerage sludge and animate being litter. ( biomass sector reappraisal ) .

Expected benefits for small-scale biomass warming system

Biomass is a typical renewable energy for short-run C decrease and the major grounds for its implement may as followers:

1. Carbon nervous. Although there will be carbon dioxide during the firing procedure same with fossil fuels burning, the C emanations generated from wood pellets or other wood fuels were absorbed by green workss antecedently through photosynthesis reaction. Energy harvests capture the C dioxide that generated from fossil combustion or other human activities, with the driver of sunshine and H2O, make the C dioxide into glucose. Theoretically, there would non bring forth more green house gas during the whole burning procedure, the C footmark can be cut down by this method. The photosynthesis reaction taking C dioxide to glucose is:

2. Sustainability of biomass resource. The original energy of biomass is solar which creates most of the organic stuffs. The maximal transition energy efficiency for above reaction is about 5 % . However, the existent figure might be lower depending on the environment and location. Actually, It is calculated that about 4.78 million tones of oil tantamount biomass energy has been captured by green workss form Sun in 2008. ( and renewable energy, Book energy and environment pp150 ) . .

Take wood for illustration, the advancement of the biomass energy utilizing can be included as below flow chart

Energy workss

Timber production

Non-recovered paper merchandises

Non-recovered wood productsCarbon dioxide


Paper production Sunlight

Recycled paper merchandises

Forest absorb the C dioxide from the ambiance ( energy workss exhaust ) and the wood will be collected to do paper and lumber merchandises severally. After common recycling, the non-recovered stuffs might be sent to biomass energy workss or CHP workss which will return the C emissions back into ambiance. The whole procedure can run in a circle.

Furthermore, the life rhythm of wood and other biomass stuff is upto 20 old ages which is much shorter than the continuance of fossil fuels formation ( 1000000s of old ages ) . The whole procedure makes the biomass energy sustainable.

3. Secure and sufficient energy resource. The most attractive and outstanding ground for the implement of small-scale biomass warming system is its unafraid resource and cost effectual monetary value compared with other renewable energy.

Sufficient and inexpensive resource: the biomass energy feedstock can be provided by the local community within stat mis, it does non necessitate international grid supply or long clip storage. The short-time supply concatenation makes the biomass energy pricing will non be affected by the planetary energy markets or international transit which contributes to the energy security.

Rapid payback: for personal user, the payback of a small-scale warming system can be really rapid. Harmonizing to C trust instance on biomass, with around 30 % fiscal support, the payback can be within three old ages. In add-on, biomass warming monetary value should be much lower than the conventional energy for long clip run as C levy and other revenue enhancements. ( a practical usher for possible users, 2007 )

Reduce most of the municipal solid waste ( MSW ) : due to turning population and figure of house clasp, the coevals of municipal solid waste has posed a threaten on human wellness and sustainable development. By and large, the declarative composing of MSW includes paper, plastics, metal, glass and wood merchandises, bulk of them can be recycled as bio-fuel and tremendous energy could be released from the firing procedure. If we can take usage of MSW as the chief resource, there will be less sites landfilled by wastes, accordingly, less air and belowground H2O pollutions would go on


The current and farther barriers of biomass warming system

Despite there are assorted of benefits to the biomass energy and the warming biomass undertakings are proven to be mature on domestic intent, there is still some restrictions for the deployment and replacing advancement. This portion will exemplify the barriers in the biomass implement from both house proprietor and developer point of position.

For the house proprietor: human-friendly operation, low capital cost and heating contraption ‘s stableness are the chief factors for imposts to take one renewable energy system other than the conventional systems. Therefore, the basic comparative jobs as following

Health and safety jobs: based on UK Environment Agency Air Report and ordinances, the ashes and particulates form the burning make biomass warming system unavailable in all the countries in UK. There is more than 50 local governments in UK declared as non-smoke countries. ( DEFRA ) Such residential air pollution can take to respiratory upset for human existences and other animals. Furthermore, feedstock storage is another hazard from the fire safety prospective.

The high cost of biomass energy feedstock: both the measure and quality are the chief factors to pricing the cost of heating system operation. Although we have the abundant and inexpensive original energy beginning, the monetary value of high quality ( high heating value ) energy feedstock vary widely as consequence of bio-fuels 2nd measure coevals. ( such as landfill gas and biological science Diesel )

For the engineering developer: The obstructor of the biomass development involved authorities policy and environment impacts:

The restriction of graduated table to development. The procedure is estimated to be much easier in little graduated table undertaking than the larger 1. ( Carbon trust, a practical usher for possible users, ) . Among the assorted of constituents, the warming production is the cardinal stairss in the whole warming undertaking, the larger size boilers built the lower warming efficiency we can acquire. Besides, a restriction of storage country can curtail the graduated table of heating system.

The impacts of environment and ecosystem. It can be steadfastly predicted that the large-scale growth of energy harvests can take to negative impacts on our environment.

A. Reduce the local biological science diverseness. As the life rhythm to the energy harvests is runing from 3 to 25 old ages. Within the whole growth period, merely one corp agriculture form will diminish the local biological science diverseness. Besides, the biomass aggregation may destruct the home grounds of wildlife.

B. Misuse the productive land. The extended cultivated energy harvests can take topographic point the bulk of productive land which was used for nutrient provision. The monolithic demand of original biomass may take to a misusing of agribusiness land.


To sum up, although the deployment of biomass has a scope of barriers ( big investing, non-perfect engineering and environment impacts ) , there is much potency for biomass to go the most outstanding renewable energy beginning on domestic sector. Based on the above analysis, the use of biomass for warming and the power coevals can supply us with the much lower monetary value and environment- friendly alternate energy.

Therefore, taking the barriers of biomass warming implement is really necessary for the cardinal authorities, commercial and domestic users. The fiscal encouragement ( the low-interests loan ) and basic information debut on small-scale warming undertakings should be given to advance the utilizing of biomass energy. Further development and research of biomass warming system, like combined with C gaining control and storage ( CCS ) , is besides needed to run into the C decrease marks to diminish 50 % of the C dioxide by 2050.


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