How Does Biomass Affect the Environment?

The use of biomass to create energy offers producers the chance to stop using fossil fuels; the extraction process for fossil fuels often affects the environment adversely, as does the pollution that comes from the consumption of those fossil fuels. Biomass could eliminate those pollutants from the earth's atmosphere.

It is possible to use biomass feedstocks to generate all the fuel and other chemicals that producers currently use fossil fuels to make, according to Green Energy Ohio. Feedstock refers to any organic substance that could convert to energy; this includes residues from logging, sewage, farm animal waste and other forms of industrial waste.

Some common ways to derive energy from biomass include the production of methane from landfills, biodiesel fuel for automobile engines from soybeans, and high-ethanol gasoline from corn. One additional advantage of using biomass in this way is that its conversion to energy is almost instantaneous, while fossil fuels take millions of years to convert from their original materials to a form that is useful. Waste biomass is a type of energy that could also eliminate some of the problems that come from hazardous waste and recycling operations. Turning biomass into energy involves several different processes; this includes burning, fermentation, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis and chemical conversion.