The Pros And Cons Of Biomass

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According to the Woody Biomass Inventory Strategy Planning Project (WBISPP), woody biomass from the forest resource base in form of standing stock is estimated to be 1.2 billion tones, of which the sustainable yield is about 50 million tons per annum. On-farm trees and dead wood provide 8.2 and 5.5 million tones of woody biomass annually as fuel-wood. In addition to this, crop residues and dung contribute about 5 and 7 million tons respectively to the total national energy consumption (WBISPP, 2004). At a national level, consumption of biomass fuels has increased through time with the increase in population. The national per capita woody biomass consumption as estimated by WBISPP is 815 kg. How- ever, in Addis Ababa, biomass fuel consumption…show more content…
It is simply thermal processing, or burning of biomass, which in the simplest form involves the burning of biomass in a combustion chamber of a furnace. Following this basic principle, biomass-derived electricity is produced using a steam cycle process, in which biomass is burned in a boiler to produce high pressure steam that drives a turbine to produce electricity. Commercial and industrial combustion plants can burn a wide range of biomass ranging from wood pellets, wood chips, wood residues, briquettes, straw bales and other agricultural residues to municipal solid wastes. Biomass can also be burned with coal in a boiler of a conventional power plant, and is viewed as a cost efficient way of incorporating renewable technology into conventional power production because much of the existing power plant infrastructure can be used without major modifications. (FAO,…show more content…
The significance of gasification technology stems from the fact that it can make use of advanced turbine designs and heat-recovery steam generators to achieve high energy efficiency. Siemons (2001) suggested that for developing countries, biomass gasification, as opposed to fossil fuel gasification, is advantageous because biomass can be produced locally and therefore cheaper and more accessible than fossil fuels. Hence, there is growing interest in the biomass gasification technology in Africa although only very few countries have so far taken the initiative to apply the technology. The most successful pilot project of biomass gasification aimed at economic empowerment of rural communities is in Eastern Cape, South Africa (Mamphweli and Meyer, 2009). Pyrolysis is essentially biomass gasification under conditions of complete absence of oxygen that produces a liquid bio-oil, a mixture of gas (syngas) and charcoal

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