Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quick Bio-Energy

Is biomass shouldering aside other renewables such as wind and solar, to become the king of renewables? Perhaps so, in many locations. Other than in deserts--where solar PV and solar thermal make more sense--biomass can be grown in large quantities. Even on a seastead in the middle of the ocean, aquatic biomass will be a part of the overall energy picture.

Can miscanthus wildgrass produce more ethanol per acre than switchgrass and maize? According to this 3 year field trial from Illinois, Yes It Can!

Sweet sorghum is entering the fray for ethanol feedstock in Florida. Sweet sorghum requires far less water than either maize or sugar cane, and can be grown in a far wider range of climates than sugar cane.

No one knows how much biomass from grain stalks is burnt globally every year. But Indian researchers have looked at the burning of rice stalks in a single Indian state. In the single state, rice stalks with the energy equivalent of 35 to 40 million tonnes of coal were burnt in a single growing season. Even waste biomass presents a significant opportunity for energy production and reduction of particulate and gaseous pollution with advanced technologies.



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