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Algae - Food and Feed

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Other Novel Applications

Biomass – Bio-energy, Biofuels - Reference & Resources

 Nature gave us oil from algae; perhaps we should try Nature’s way again

Content derived from Wikipedia article on Biomass

Biomass, in the energy production industry, refers to living and recently living biological material which can be used as fuel or for industrial production. Most commonly biomass refers to plant matter grown for use as Biofuel but also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibres, chemicals or heat. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel. It excludes organic material which has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum. It is usually measured by dry weight.

The term "biomass" is especially useful for plants, where some internal structures may not always be considered living tissue, such as the wood (secondary xylem) of a tree.

Biofuels include bioethanol, Biobutanol Biodiesel & biogas.

Biomass is grown from several plants, including Switchgrass hemp, corn, willow and sugarcane[1]. The particular plant used is usually not very important to the end products, but it does affect the processing of the raw material. Production of biomass is a growing industry as interest in sustainable fuel sources is growing.[citation needed]

Though biomass is a renewable fuel, it can still contribute to global warming. This happens when the natural carbon equilibrium is disturbed; for example by deforestation or urbanisation of green sites.

 Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon from the atmosphere is converted into biological matter by photosynthesis. On decay or combustion the carbon goes back into the atmosphere. This happens over a relatively short timescale and plant matter used as a fuel can be constantly replaced by planting for new growth. Therefore a reasonably stable level of atmospheric carbon results from its use as a fuel.

Although fossil fuels have their origin in ancient biomass, they are not considered biomass by the generally accepted definition because they contain carbon that has been 'out' of the carbon cycle for a very long time. Their combustion therefore disturbs the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.

Other uses of biomass, besides fuel:

 Building materials

Biodegradable plastics and paper (using Cellulose fibres) 

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1 Biomass production

2 See also

Biomass production

Biomass production for human use and consumption.

Biome Ecosystem Type   Area   Mean Net Primary Production   World Primary Production   Mean biomass   World biomass   Minimum replacement rate  

(million km²) (gram dryC/sq metre/year) (billion tonnes/year) (kg dryC/sq metre) (billion tonnes) (years)

Tropical rain forest 17.0 2,200 37.40 45.00 765.00 20.45

Tropical monsoon forest 7.5 1,600 12.00 35.00 262.50 21.88

Temperate evergreen forest 5.0 1,320 6.60 35.00 175.00 26.52

Temperate deciduous forest 7.0 1,200 8.40 30.00 210.00 25.00

Boreal forest 12.0 800 9.60 20.00 240.00 25.00

Mediterranean open forest 2.8 750 2.10 18.00 50.40 24.00

Woodland and shrubland 5.7 700 3.99 6.00 34.20 8.57

Savanna 15.0 900 13.50 4.00 60.00 4.44

Temperate grassland 9.0 600 5.40 1.60 14.40 2.67

Tundra and alpine 8.0 140 1.12 0.60 4.80 4.29

Desert and semidesert scrub 18.0 90 1.62 0.70 12.60 7.78

Extreme desert, rock, sand or ice sheets 24.0 3 0.07 0.02 0.48 6.67

Cultivated land 14.0 650 9.10 1.00 14.00 1.54

Swamp and marsh 2.0 2,000 4.00 15.00 30.00 7.50

Lakes and streams 2.0 250 0.50 0.02 0.04 0.08

Total continental 149.00 774.51 115.40 12.57 1,873.42 16.23

Open Ocean 332.00 125.00 41.50 0.003 1.00 0.02

Upwelling zones 0.40 500.00 0.20 0.020 0.01 0.04

Continental shelf 26.60 360.00 9.58 0.010 0.27 0.03

Algal beds and reefs 0.60 2,500.00 1.50 2.000 1.20 0.80

Estuaries & mangroves 1.40 1,500.00 2.10 1.000 1.40 0.67

Total marine 361.00 152.01 54.88 0.01 3.87 0.07

Grand total 510.00 333.87 170.28 3.68 1,877.29 11.02

 Source: Whittaker, R. H.; Likens, G. E. (1975). “The Biosphere and Man”, Leith, H. & Whittaker, R. H.: Primary Productivity of the Biosphere. Springer-Verlag, 305-328. ISBN 0-3870-7083-4. ; Ecological Studies Vol 14 (Berlin) ISSN 0070-8356.

Related topics @ Wikipedia

Anaerobic digestion


Biomass gasification

Biomass to liquid

Energy crop

Web Resources

A Novel Process of Biomass Gasification for Hydrogen-Rich Gas with Solid Heat Carrier: Preliminary Experimental Results: A new process of biomass gasification with a catalytic solid heat carrier is proposed that is called the ECCMB (external circulating concurrent moving bed) gasification system

Monitoring Stress-Related Genes during the Process of Biomass Propagation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains Used for Wine Making: Production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae biomass is an economically important process. Industrial strains of S. cerevisiae are used by many food companies as starters for fermentative processes in the making of bread, wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages.

Biomass Production: Biomass is a very versatile material and can be used to produce heat (for space and water heating), electricity and a combination of heat and power (electricity). The UK has some of the largest examples of the use of Biomass to generate electricity in Europe. Plants produce biomass by a process called photo-. synthesis in which the energy from the sun con-. verts carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates.

The European Biomass Association: The European Biomass Association is a non profit Brussels based international organisation whose mission is to represent bioenergy at EU level.

biomass production: This Defra website provides details of actions and strategies on biomass and non-food crops as part of UK actions for renewable energy sources. Reports and consultations on biomass, anaerobic digestion, renewables and energy crop information is available here.

Biomass Association: Biomass The Canadian and international associations listed below promote information sharing, the use and adoption of clean energy

Biomass Companies On-line: Biomass Processing Companies.

Biomass development Companies: Biomass Development Company - Reducing the Use of Coal (Replacing Coal with Environmentally-Friendly Biomass).

Biomass Gasification: Biomass Gasification Technologies is a privately-held company started by several members of the board of directors at the Renewable Energy Institute. 

Brazil company develops biomass dryer technology: Swiss Group of Companies in Brazil recently announced the development of biomass drying technology that uses electromagnetic radiation. Edda Silvestro, Italian entrepreneur and Swiss Group president, created the concept for the new device, and over the past two years, a team of Brazilian engineers and technicians have worked to construct the dryer, which Silvestro called a “revolutionary invention.”

Biomass Production Equipment: Deli Solar is also involved in the manufacture of machinery and equipment that produces easily combustible and convenient biomass products for home, commercial and municipal uses. The company maintains a modern research facility that develops and tests methodologies for the compression and formation of biomass products to develop the most effective forms of commercial products.

Biomass Equipment: SEC “Biomass” is an official representative of Austrian POLYTECHNIK Company in Ukraine. POLYTECHNIK is a manufacturer of highly-efficient energy equipment for utilization of both waste wood and agricultural wastes such as chips, bark, sawdust, briquettes, wood shavings, sunflower husk, rice husk, etc).

New Biomass Extraction Equipment Increases Yields for Contract R&D, Toll Processing: A new biomass extraction processing line being assembled at POS Pilot Plant will maximize the amount of oil extracted from biomass, yield profitable by-products, and recycle the solvent used during processing.

 Demonstration plant for biomass gasification and power generation: The main equipment of a biomass gasification-power generation system includes a gasifier, a purifying tube, water scrubbers, a blower, generators, a waste-water treatment pool, a biomass conveyer and feeder, etc.

The Burning Issues with Biomass:

How Biomass Energy Works: There are a wide variety of biomass energy resources, including tree and grass crops and forestry, agricultural, and urban wastes. It is the oldest source of renewable energy known to humans, used since our ancestors learned the secret of fire.

problems with biomass:

Biomass from Crop Residues: Cost and Supply Estimates:

Cost of Electricity Generation by Biomass-based Power Stations:

 Using biomass fuels - boiler size and costs : Domestic and light industrial biomass boiler systems tend to be physically larger and more expensive than their fossil fuel equivalents.   

Biomass Wood / Small Roundwood Biomass prices in the UK: Demand always drives supply and prices (for biomass) are almost always determined at the margin.  While there is a welcome and gradual hardening of biomass prices, it is not yet aligned to other commodity prices, mainly because of the abundance of potential UK supply and the immature state of the market. 

 Environmental and Social Benefits/Costs of Biomass Plantations: Tree biomass plantations potentially offer many direct and indirect environmental benefits, but they may have negative environmental impacts as well. As recently discussed by Graham, ascertaining the environmental impacts are complex because the impacts of using biomass for energy must be considered in the context of alternative energy options while the impacts of producing energy crops must be considered in the context of alternative land uses.70

Biomass Energy: Cost and Scale Issues: Biomass in the Broadest Sense 

Case Studies on Small Scale Biomass Gasifier Based Decentralized Energy Generation Systems:

Biomass Energy – Potential & Prospects: The investment required for a typical 1 MW

biomass based power plant varies from Rs. 3.5 to 4.0 Crores

Biomass Case Study 03: Biomass Heating Project:

Case Study: Successful introduction of small scale biomass in the region of Bavaria, Germany:

Best Uses of Biomass:

Another Ways to Use Biomass:

Industrial Uses of Biomass Energy: Industrial Uses of Biomass Energy demonstrates that energy-rich vegetation, biomass, is a key renewable energy resource for the future. 

 Using Biomass Fuels: A wide choice of sophisticated biomass combustion equipment that offers a range of features, efficiency and convenience equal to the best fossil fuel fired systems, is currently available on the market.  Timers, auto-ignition, automatic fuel feed, de-ashing and sophisticated building management systems all contribute to meaning that using biomass as a primary heating fuel can be as straightforward as using fossil fuels.

 Issues for installing biomass systems: Before installing a biomass energy system there are a number of considerations that should always be made including system suitability, fuel supply and storage and delivery of that fuel.

 Biomass Installation and Maintenance: Biomass installation and. Maintenance

 Biomass deployment: The Biomass Program uses the terms "Demonstration and Deployment" to describe on-the-ground activities, including Biorefinery plant construction and operation.

Brief Note on Biomass:

Biomass FAQ:

 Consumer Guide: How Biomass Energy Works 

Biomass Definition – FAQ:

Biomass technologies Overview and Trends: 

Future Directions To Estimate Biomass Change: Biomass Change With Field Studies

Advantages and Disadvantages of Biomass:

Disadvantages of Biomass: Burning of biomass produces greenhouse gases. Exhaust gas cleaning technology must be applied to biomass energy plants to make them truly environmentally-friendly.

Biomass Energy Disadvantages: Biomass Energy disadvantages. There really are not that many. But we do need to look at the whole picture when trying to see if biomass is a good alternative fuel to fossil fuel such as coal or oil.

Definition of Biomass - Energy Tips - Energy Saving Wales: Energy Saving Tips: read more about Definition of Biomass.


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About Oilgae - Oilgae - Oil & Biodiesel from Algae has a focus on biodiesel production from algae while also discussing alternative energy in general. Algae present an exciting possibility as a feedstock for biodiesel, and when you realise that oil was originally formed from algae - among others - you think "Hey! Why not oil again from algae!"

This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Biomass

To facilitate exploration of oil production from algae as well as exploration of other alternative energy avenues, Oilgae provides web links, directory, and related resources for algae-based biofuels / biodiesel along with inputs on new inventions, discoveries & breakthroughs in other alternative energy domains such as solar, Wind nuclear, hydro, Geothermal hydrogen & fuel cells, gravitational, geothemal, human-powered, ocean & Wave / Tidal energy.

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