Biomass the Oldest Renewable Biofuel – Developments

This clip from Wikipedia explains the comment in the title. Today when we talk biomass in the biofuel context we might think of switchgrass grown for ethanol, saw milling waste or soya beans for biodiesel production – but in fact the wood fire was the first example of a biomass fuel and is still a very important fuel in developing countries.


Biomass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.jpg

(click image for full story online)


This defines biomass as

Biomass refers to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production. Most commonly, biomass refers to plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce biofuel, but it also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibers, 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.

Two recent stories illustrate what is happening in this area.


Biofuels brief_ Huge growth for UK biomass.jpg

from: Farmers Weekly Interactive
(click image for full story online)


This article considers biomass from recycled wood, processing co-products (palm kernel or distillers grains, for example), agricultural wastes (straw, chicken manure and so on) and energy crops.

It refers to announcements in recent months to develop more than 1,000MW of electricity generation from biomass. It also identifies increasing quantities of biomass being co-fired in large coal plants and used in industrial-sized operations. It expands on the activities of a number of companies.


Bioenergy pact between Europe and Africa.jpg

(click image for full story online)


This is an amazing story of a €150 million project to produce enough electricity for 90,000 households, by burning chicken manure, that went online in the beginning of September.

The plant is owned and operated by utility company Delta, cooperative DET, ZLTO and Austrian Energy & Environment A.G. (a consortium including Siemens Nederland N.V.). It will use approximately 440,000 tons of chicken manure a year, roughly one third of the total amount produced in the Netherlands.

It is interesting that while producing electricity the project solves a number of problems from complaints by the UKto the smell produced when Holland spread manure on their fields, to the release of Methane and the high cost of alternate disposal.

The ash from the plant will be used in fertilisers. There are opportunities for the manure from the remainder of Holland’s chickens and from other countries of Europe.

2 Responses to Biomass the Oldest Renewable Biofuel – Developments

  1. Michel says:

    I like the idea of using the chicken manure in the methane digester to produce power for the biomass plant. Its truly renewable.

  2. Chris Scott says:


    My name is Christopher Scott; I’m a Director at PelHeat Ltd. We are developing the PelHeat Mobile Pelletizer. This machine is a small-scale mobile application to upgrade various biomass resources into pellets. These pellets can be used in pellet stoves and boilers or in gasifiers or CHP units to generate electricity.

    You can find out more about us at

    As I’m sure you are aware more and more people are interested in biomass pellets and particularly wood pellets as a fuel source. Therefore we have developed an instant download guide on the principles of pellet production called the PelHeat Biomass Pellet Production Guide. This guide provides a concise summary of the process of pellet production in small and large-scale applications. The guide is becoming quite successful, and we have received many positive comments on how the guide is helping more and more people learn about pellet production.

    PelHeat Biomass Pellet Production Guide:

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