What Is Biomass Renewable Energy And Where Does It Come From?

Nearly everyone familiar with the term “going green” knows what a renewable energy source is. They’ve heard the terms “solar energy” “wind energy” and maybe even “hydropower” because those are the types of renewable energy that are spoken about most often. But most people seem to be unaware of biomass renewable energy and how much of a great renewable energy investment it would be.

Where Does Biomass Renewable Energy Come From?

Basically, biomass renewable energy comes from organic materials like animals or plants. These materials contain energy that is stored from the sun (plants absorb sunlight as energy and when humans and animals eat those plants, it transfers to them). Examples of biomass renewable energy sources include manure, some types of garbage, wood and crops.

Energy is obtained when the biomass renewable energy source is burned, putting out heat. Wood and garbage are burned as a biomass renewable energy source to released heat or steam to make electricity. The heat can also be used to actually provide adequate heating for homes.

Wood and wood waste is the most common form of biomass renewable energy – in fact, it’s been used even before people had any idea what renewable energy was. Around 150 years ago, burning wood was the only way to produce heat or steam to power the things people used, and since trees can be replanted, it was the world’s first true renewable energy source used.

There are other ways of getting biomass renewable energy from these sources as well. Certain biomass renewable energy sources can be converted into other forms of energy like methane gas, ethanol or bio diesel fuel because methane gas is the main ingredient in the world’s natural gas. Biogas – the smelly stuff produced by rotting garbage and human waste – also release methane gas, which is sometimes called biogas. Certain crops, like corn or sugar cane, can be fermented to produce ethanol, another kind of transportation fuel. And even bio diesel can be made using left-over food products like vegetable oil or animal fats. The best part is, all of these things – crops, garbage, waste – are produced anyway because humans need crops to eat and they then turn those crops into garbage and waste. The other things, like animal fat and vegetable oil, are used and discarded, meaning using them as a biomass renewable energy source is the same thing as recycling!

Clearly, biomass renewable energy is catching on – currently around 3% of the energy used in the United States is in the form of biomass renewable energy.