How Biomass Energy Works

How biomass energy works is very simple.  You simple convert natural items into usable power, such as wood, plants, fat from animals, and a host of other sources provided by the environment.

There are two main methods of converting biomass energy into a useful form:  

  •          Thermal Conversion
  •          Chemical Conversion

Biomass Energy is a Growing Alternative Energy

EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove - Wood, Biomass, or Charcoal Fuel

How Biomass Works Using Thermal Conversion

Thermal conversion is just a fancy way of saying you use heat to convert biomass into energy.  

An easy example would be for you to use wood to heat your home, or cook your food.  

There are many other experimental thermal conversion methods that may offer benefits.

For example, hydrothermal upgrading (HTU) and hydro processing have been developed for use on high moisture content biomass.

Including aqueous slurries, allowing them to be converted into usable forms of energy.

How Biomass Energy Works Using Chemical Conversion

Efficient biochemical processes that have evolved in the natural world are now being harnessed to create usable power.

Biochemical conversion makes use of the enzymes of bacteria and other microorganisms to break down biomass.

There are many different chemical conversion methods that offer you a way of turning biomass into usable energy, but it normally goes something like this

The first step is to convert the biomass into a gaseous form by using a method called gasification.  

By gasifying the biomass, we are able to create biofuels that can then be used to power cars, heat your home, and a number of other practical applications.


Converting biomass into biofuels using organic material is helping to generate new, fuel efficient vehicles. 

For example, cellulose can be converted into hydrogen fuels.

Another example of biochemical conversion is to use waste vegetable oils to create biodiesel.

Below is a diagram of how a microbial electrolysis cell can be used to generate hydrogen gas from plant matter:

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