The Biomass Energy Conversion Technologies

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4.3 Biomass Energy Conversion Technologies Biomass materials can be converted to various useful forms of energy such as heat, electricity and liquid fuels. The technologies used to convert biomass into energy ranged widely from the simple combustion of biomass used for cooking and heating in developing countries to a variety of technologies to generate modern energy carriers - electricity, gas, and liquid bio-fuels. Canada is using various materials including waste and residuals to generate electricity, heat and, bio-liquid fuels (bio-ethanol and biodiesel) (Defra UK et al. 2007). Biomass energy can be used at the household (-10 kW), community (-100 kW), or industrial (- MW) scale. Key biomass energy conversion technologies include thermal and thermochemical, and biological and biochemical. • Thermal and Thermochemical Technologies o Combustion — convert forestry, agricultural and municipal residues into heat and power under environmentally sound conditions o Gasification — convert forestry, agricultural and municipal residues into syngas o Pyrolysis — convert forestry and agricultural residues into bio-oils and value added products o Thermal and Catalytic Processing — convert a variety of new and used vegetable oils; tall oils; waste greases and animal fats into renewable diesel fuels and diesel blending stocks • Biological and Biochemical Technologies o Fermentation — convert the starch and cellulose components of biomass to bio-ethanol o Anaerobic Digestion — convert
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