Landolt-Börnstein - Group VIII Advanced Materials and Technologies

5.1 Biomass energy - An overview


This chapter explores the potential of biomass energy, particularly the utilization of residues and energy forestry/crops, current and future uses, traditional versus modern applications, technology trends in particular to combustion, cogeneration, co-firing, micropower generation, gasification and pyrolysis. The market for liquid fuel i.e. ethanol fuel, for use in blend with gasoline is rapidly growing in the world largest fuel markets; this is also the case with biodiesel which is rapidly increasing, particularly in the EU (particularly Germany) and the USA. Biogas production and use is practiced in most countries, but only a handful (China, India, Nepal and Denmark) have a nationwide biogas program. Charcoal production and its use is a major and growing activity in many developing nations, and for this reason, the main implications are also discussed. Biomass energy has major socio-economic impacts, particularly in rural areas of developing nations. The increase in provisions of bioenergy could have important energy implications and additionally contribute to modernizing agriculture. Biomass energy is increasingly associated with environmental sustainability, and this is particularly so if the external cost of fossil fuels are internalized. The potential of biomass energy as a CO2 abatement has been recognized in the Kyoto Protocol, and thus the benefits of a direct substitution of biomass for fossil fuel are assessed briefly. The rapid changes in the energy markets worldwide have major implications on bioenergy. Finally, the chapter suggests some policy recommendations and R&D needs.

Cite this page

References (78)

About this content

5.1 Biomass energy - An overview
Book Title
Renewable Energy
5 Biomass
Book DOI
Chapter DOI
Part of
Landolt-Börnstein - Group VIII Advanced Materials and Technologies
  • K. Heinloth Send Email (100)
  • Editor Affiliation
  • 100 Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bonn, Nußallee 12, 53115, Bonn, Germany
  • Authors
  • F. Rosillo-Calle Send Email (51)
  • Author Affiliation
  • 51 Imperial College Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • Cite this content

    Citation copied