Deriving Alternative Energy Through Biomass Densification
Biomass densification is another process that is being highlighted these days when it comes to production of alternative energy from biomass materials. Biomass densification definition explains that it is the process of squeezing the air out of biomass materials so that pellets can be formed.
Almost all types of biomass materials can be subjected to densification process as long as it is chopped or initially broken down to smaller pieces. Sawdust, municipal waste or agricultural waste can be converted to biofuels when subjected to densification. Machines are important in this process because it allows biomass materials to be converted to uniform and smaller sizes. Densified biomass can come as pellets, cubes or even logs.
Biomass densification process is necessary because it turns biomass to a more convenient, efficient and environment friendly material that can generate alternative energy. It has been recognized long time ago that biomass can indeed be such a good source of alternative energy. It can reduce the demand and consumption of the non renewable resources like coal and oil. It also lowers the pollution that contributes to worsening environmental conditions like green house effect.
The problem is, biomass materials are not a very efficient fuel if it is not processed well. With biomass densification, the ability of biomass to produce energy is enhanced.
How does densification increase efficiency of biomass materials?
Organic and biological materials that are being used as biomass has more than 70 percent of void space and air. This significantly increases the volume of biomass. Because of that, biomass becomes difficult to handle, transport, store and even use. With densification, the void space and air is being removed leaving just the energy producing component. This is easier to handle and use. It is also not as expensive to transport the densified biomass.
When biomass materials go through the process of densification, it is converted to pellets. There are also different types of biomass pellets such as wood pellets, grass pellets and straw pellets. These can then be directly used as source of biomass power.
Wood pellets are the most commonly used form of biomass energy these days. These are produced by utilizing the wastes and residue from the timber industry. The good thing about wood pellets is that it is premium grade. That means it produces less ashes compared to other types. Yet, this is also the most expensive of all pellets because it can generate more heat and is easy to maintain. Another concern is that there is also limited supply for raw materials that can be used for wood pellet.
Grass pellets are a relatively new technology. There are several benefits in using grass as a source of energy. First, the supply for grass is more bountiful than supply for wood. It can be grown easily. Second, grass also has higher yields, so there is more energy. Third, less energy is required to produce grass pellets.
Straw pellets make use of the waste product from the agriculture industry. The materials that can be used for it are barley straw and even corn cobs. The good thing about straw pellets is that it makes good use of the waste materials from agriculture. Also, this is a good alternative energy resource for agricultural places wherein wood can be scarce.