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Bio Mass

Biomass consists of plant and plant type materials which are available as agricultural residues from various sources like rice, sugarcane, wheat , switch grass etc. Biomass can either be used directly as fuel to generate energy or it can be processed into green fuel which can then be used to generate energy. This technology is also termed as waste-to-energy technology since it utilises the wastes to generate energy directly or indirectly. Large scale waste-to-energy systems are capable of providing not only energy but also provide heating for various purposes.

Biomass Fuels are divided into two categories: Liquid Fuel and Gel Fuel. Liquid Biomass Fuels are utilised by either switching it with fossil fuel or the other way to use it is by mixing it with the fossil fuel. Biomass fuels are known to add to the carbon footprint, however it is a negligible addition. Care needs to be taken when biomass fuel is generated for the sustainability and productivity of the land used. This is required since the main source for biomass energy is agricultural residues, if care is not taken for this then this resource will not be available in the future for our use.

Biomass Technology can be used for Heat Generation, Electrical Power Generation, Steam Production, Biodiesel – used in transport vehicles and also as ethanol. There are two ways to convert biomass : First method is to use fermentation and the other method is by pyrolisis, combustion or similar means.

India has the ability to manufacture the machinery or equipment needed to put in place for the process of utilising biomass. There are many plants already installed for biomass generation in India in various states which are already operational. India has already achieved excellence in atmospheric gasifiers technology. Indian manufacturers of these technologies make the installation and setup costs of these plants very cost effective. The waste-to-energy technology is recently developed and thus requires more research to make it more efficient.

There is still a long way to go to make a sizable chunk of energy requirement to be fulfilled by this technology. Bioenergy has the potential in India to become a major contributor to the energy generation market, since the resources required for bioenergy are available in abundance in India.

There is a need to incorporate technological modifications in the equipments so that these equipments/ machinery are compatible with these resources. There are a variety of resources made available by using biomass, however these resources are not utilised properly due to lack of compatible equipment. This makes the usage of these resources very inefficient and we end up wasting a lot of it in the process. The transport engines need a modification so that they can use biodiesel (a fuel generated by biomass) efficiently. Similarly many other chemicals generated from biomass require technology modification for utilisation properly.

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