Biomass energy and the environmental impacts associated with its production and utilization
Biomass is the first-ever fuel used by humankind and is also the fuel which was the mainstay of the global fuel economy till the middle of the 18th century. Then fossil fuels took over because fossil fuels were not only more abundant and denser in their energy content, but also generated less pollution when burnt, in comparison to biomass. In recent years there is a resurgence of interest in biomass energy because biomass is perceived as a carbon-neutral source of energy unlike net carbon-emitting fossil fuels of which copious use has led to global warming and ocean acidification. The paper takes stock of the various sources of biomass and the possible ways in which it can be utilized for generating energy. It then examines the environmental impacts, including impact vis a vis greenhouse gas emissions, of different biomass energy generation-utilization options.
Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
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