The environment is worse and worse nowadays, the main reason is the increase of fossil fuel consumption; for examples, generating energy, combustible materials. Fossil fuel (the oil, coal and natural gas) also supplies chemicals which are ingredients of almost all products of the modern life. In addition, the reservoir of fossil fuel is limited and predicted to run out within 70 years based on current consumption rate (according http://www.carboncounted.co.uk/when-will-fossil-fuels-run-out.html); therefore, people will have to live without most of modern devices such as TVs, computers and transport if no one find out alternative energy sources to fossil fuel.
Because of these reasons, the scientists nowadays are looking for other ways to generate energy. These kinds of energy were called renewable energy. For examples, solar energy, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy, ocean energy and biomass.
Obviously, all of them require some distinct conditions; for instant, weather, geography, topography and level of development. An example, to illustrate, is solar energy which has to be used wherever the climate is dry and sunny. However, biomass is independent on weather, geography and topography so biomass is really suitable for countries which produce a lot of agricultural products. Most important thing is that biomass is possible to be applied for developing countries such as Vietnam, India and Thailand.
Now we should look into some general information of biomass. Firstly, an explanation and some details of biomass will give you the simple definition of biomass. Then, we illustrate the its advantages and disadvantages. Finally, some future images of biomass were predicted by scientists and experts and suitability for widespread use.
What is biomass
According to Oxford Advanced Learner??™s dictionary, biomass means ???natural materials from living or recently dead plants, trees, animals, used as fuel and in industrial production, especially in the generation of electricity???. Biomass mentions a renewable source of energy or an alternative energy to fossil fuels. Although biomass and fossil fuels have the same origin from living organisms, they are still different. Substances of biomass are wood, agricultural products, grasses, grains and household garbage which are in recent time while fossil fuels are from trees, plants and animals in millions years, we can call fossil fuels are ancient biomass.
The simple cycle of biomass is explained in the picture. Firstly, organic objects are collected from farms and garbage. Then, before starting, they have to be changed to cellulose. Finally, through a complex process, enzymes and microbes are added into cellulose to produce ethanol which are used as petroleum.
Advantages of biomass:
Biomass is referred as a renewable energy because biomass is generated every day. In the simple cycle of biomass, starting with plants, the sun provides solar energy, and combining with water and nutrients in soil, plants grown bigger. When they are harvested, people get their main products (food for animals or humans, other products) and the rest of them are used to make combustible material.
Another one is the environmental benefit. Biomass does not reduce the gases damaged to the environment such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. However, people can control the amount of these gases released into the atmosphere. Besides that people do not have to mine for oil, coal or natural gas and of course, the environment is not affected. Moreover, biomass can make use of household garbage so it can decrease the amount of garbage thrown out the environment. In addition, after creating biomass, the wasted materials can be used as fertility to improving the condition of the soil.
Disadvantages of biomass:
The worst issue is that, as mentioned before, burning biomass releases greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. The materials of biomass, such as methane gas, also make pollution if they leak out to the environment. More seriously, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide combine can produce acid rain killing plants and animals and destroying building, houses.
Burning biomass is not a very efficient source of energy because collecting materials of biomass is not simple because people must spend a lot of money and time to collect enough dead plant and animals into one place before the process begins. As a result, the price of biomass now is more expensive than fossil fuels so scientists now are concentrating how to decrease production cost.
Biomass also requires complex technology so developing countries need the supports from other countries more developed to apply it.
The future of biomass:
As I say in the beginning, biomass does not depending on geography or topography so it can be used where other kinds cannot be used. In the future, the products of biomass will be more various.
Nowadays, some people use bio-gas replaced with natural gas to heat, for example in Vietnam. Although it is just used in families, some thermal power stations which use methane gas can be built to generate electricity or methane gas can be used directly in normal life such as cooking, heating and warming themselves.
As you can see in the pie chart below, biomass makes up 47% of renewable energy used recently
[pic] Another products of biomass is ethanol, it will be used as petroleum in the future because burning alcohol does not produce as much toxic smog as fuel.
The waste material from biomass can be used as fertility to improve the land.
Consequently, biomass is suitability for widespread use in the future.
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