Unfolding the Improvements of Biomass History
The talk about biomass energy is becoming increasingly popular these days. It is a good thing that people are now more aware of it. There is also an increased effort to develop the technology so that we can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Biomass is a current issue that is making a big buzz these days but the biomass history can actually be traced from way back.
It has been said that biomass history began when the cavemen were able to produce fire. It is true that this can be considered as the start of the history of biomass because the wood and other organic materials used by the cavemen are the same ones that we consider as biomass these days. They successfully generated energy for heat in their homes and they were able to cook their food. It just has to be noted that of course, during that time, it was not officially called biomass yet.
It was in the 1970s when biomass first made a buzz. There was an active search for alternative energy source during this period because of the uncontrollable increase in price for fossil fuels. The price for fossil fuel escalated because of the increased demand for energy. Yet the supply is scarce and getting it can be costly. Scientists and researchers poured their efforts to come up with a less expensive way of producing energy.
This was the same era when an experiment was able to make a car run using the by product of degasification. Degasification is a process of converting biomass products to usable energy.
It was in 1975 when the name biomass was officially accepted and known. Three years later, in 1978, the United States took the discussion on alternative energy resource more seriously. The congress enacted Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act which will strengthen the development of alternative energy sources.
Another milestone is biomass heaters and biomass stove. Heat is produced by burning scrap and loose wood. It was actually in the 1930s when the concept was initially used. Yet, the popularity rose only in 1970s. In 1980s more compact and durable models were produced.
In 1980s, more progress was made for biomass. Infrastructures for generators which use wood fire were built. It was in 1982 and 1983 when small plantations were made and these are capable of producing electricity from biomass materials like wood waste. Initially, the plants only use sawmill residues. Eventually, even forest thinnings, by products from agriculture, trimmings from yard and common household wood waste were being used and converted to energy. It was also in this decade when the Office of Technology Assessment in the US estimated that it is possibly to sustain one fourth of the country’s energy demands if use of biomass energy is strengthened.
"The decade 1990s made things tougher for biomass power plants". When deregulation was implemented and the price for fossil fuels normalized. The plants were not able to compete with this trend and a lot of the plants were closed down.
When the year 2000 finally came, there was an even bigger improvement of biomass in history. Programs were developed so that the fuel produced by biomass can be combined with non renewable resources coal to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. There were also researches about crops that can be grown for power generation.
Biomass history has evolved a lot over the past decades and continues to improve until today. These days, there are even more modern ways to use biomass energy. The biomass heater can already produce constant flame which is used for residential and even industrial places. There is also the innovation for biomass pelletizer. The biomass pellets are efficient for pellet stoves which can be used to generate thermal energy for furnaces and boiler. There is also the technology of biomass dryer which increases the moisture removed from wood and biomass materials, making it more effective for combustion.