What is Bioenergy?

wood pellets

What is Bioenergy?

The gang from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency describe it as follows: “Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy derived from biomass to generate electricity and heat or to produce liquid fuels for transport.”

So what is biomass then? They go to explain that “Biomass is any organic matter of recently living plant or animal origin. It is available in many forms such as agricultural products, forestry products, and municipal and other waste.” Such as the sawdust that we use in our EnviroHeat Pellets.

Types of biomass

As you can imagine there are heaps of different sources of biomass including agricultural crops, animal and plant wastes, algae, wood and organic residential/industrial waste. The type of biomass will determine the type and amount of bioenergy that can be produced and the technology that can be used to produce it.

bioenergy types

For example, some agricultural crops, such as corn and canola, can be used to produce liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Alternatively, wet wastes like manure are well suited to produce biogas through anaerobic digestion, which can be combusted to generate electricity and heat or upgraded into a transport fuel; biomethane.

How is bioenergy produced?

There are many ways to produce bioenergy. Choosing the best technology depends on the biomass material and the type of bioenergy you want to produce. Some processes can be relatively simple, like growing, harvesting and burning wood for heat generation. Others are more complex, like algae production for transport fuels.

A variety of conversion pathways can be used to convert biomass into bioenergy to provide heat, electricity, or transportation fuels. Biomass conversion pathways are usually thermal, biochemical or mechanical either alone or in combination. Biomass can be converted to energy via a range of technologies from simple solid wood combustion heaters, to boilers and biodigesters which in turn produce steam or gas for process heat or for powering engines and turbines.

Here at EnviroHeat Australia, we take ethically sourced waste sawdust from local mills and our own plantation and send it through our pellet mill at Wandoo Rise. The only thing we add to our heating pellet mix is moisture and a whole bunch of pressure. The end result is an incredibly compact, small wooden pellet that burns very efficiently to produce heat in our specialised pellet heaters.

Source: BioEnergy Victoria

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