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BIOMASS - A MODERN AND ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE FUEL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-542
Number of pages22
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Volume38
Issue number1-4
DatePublished - Aug 1995

Abstract

The energy of the sun and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are captured by plants during photosynthesis. Plant biomass can be used to absorb carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, or it can be converted into modern energy carriers such as electricity, and liquid and gaseous fuels. Biomass supplies 13% of the world's energy consumption (55 EJ, 1990), and in some developing countries it accounts for over 90% of energy use. There is considerable potential for the modernisation of biomass fuels through improved utilisation of existing resources, higher plant productivities and efficient conversion processes using advanced technologies. The interest in bioenergy is increasing rapidly, and it is widely considered as one of the main renewable energy resources of the future due to its large potential, economic viability, and various social and environmental benefits. In particular, biomass energy is among the most favourable options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Most of the perceived problems such as land availability, environmental impact, economic viability, and efficiency can be overcome with good management. The constraints to achieving environmentally-acceptable biomass production are not insurmountable, but should rather be seen as scientific and entrepreneurial opportunities which will yield numerous advantages at local, national and international levers in the long term.

    Research areas

  • CARBON-DIOXIDE, MITIGATION OPTIONS, ATMOSPHERIC CARBON, TROPICAL FORESTS, ENERGY, POWER

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