Environmental Resources

Biomass

Biomass is biological material from living or recently living organisms. As a renewable energy source, biomass can either be used directly or converted into other energy products such as biofuel.

On one level, biomass is plant matter used to generate electricity or produce heat, usually by direct incineration. Examples include forest residues (such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps), yard clippings, wood chips and even municipal solid waste. On another level, biomass includes plant or animal matter that can be converted into fibers or other industrial chemicals, including biofuels.

Although the biomass power-generating industry in the U.S. currently produces only about 1.4 percent of the total electricity supply, Graphic is keeping an eye on the fast growth of this industry.

The Fuel of the Future - Environmental Lunacy in Europe
The largest so-called renewable fuel used in Europe is wood. From sticks to pellets to sawdust, wood (or to use its fashionable name, biomass) accounts for about half of Europe’s renewable energy consumption.

Cellulosic Ethanol ‘to be Cost Competitive by 2016′
Cellulosic ethanol is on track to be cost competitive with corn-based ethanol by 2016, a development that could drive the fuel’s production, according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Ethanol Producers Respond to Market Conditions
Margins at plants with corn oil recovery have been higher than at plants without it, meaning their margins have remained positive, while margins at plants without corn oil recovery were negative.

What Do Biomass Energy and Recycling Have in Common? Wood!
The combustion of wood results in the recycling of CO2 and H2O back into the atmosphere. Recycling wood is easy to do, and the previously harvested solar power is converted to usable energy in the process.

All Biofuels Are ‘Nonsense’, Says Nobel-Winning Photosynthesis Expert Hartmut Michel
It’s fair to say that Michel is not only one of the smartest people in the world, but also one of the top experts on how plants turn sunlight into energy.

$6 Billion-a-Year Ethanol Subsidy Dies — but Wait, There’s More
On Jan. 1, companies making ethanol will lose a tax credit of 46 cents per gallon, and even the ethanol industry is OK with it — thanks in part to high oil prices that make ethanol competitive.

Obama Announces $510M for Biofuels
Government departments will invest up to $510 million over the next three years to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.

Five Groups Sue EPA Over Punt on Biogenic Greenhouse Gas Regulation
Despite having initially included “biogenic” CO2 in the greenhouse gases to be regulated, the EPA announced it needs three years to decide how biomass carbon emissions should be monitored.

Biomass Demand Will Soar in Next 10 Years
RISI study presents forecasts for biomass demand for 2015 and 2020, and scenarios on how the demand will be met, providing implications for biomass prices and import requirements.

(Bio)Mass Confusion
High costs and environmental concerns have pushed biomass power to the sidelines in the U.S.

Biomass Power Plants Wary of EPA Carbon Accounting
A rule issued by the EPA causes worry that biomass may lose its long-standing green status and be lumped in with coal as a greenhouse gas polluter.


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