Enormous amounts of forest biomass goes to waste every day that could be used as biofuel to produce energy. It has been estimated by the US government that there is enough biomass potential from forest and agricultural land to displace more than 30% of this country’s petroleum consumption.
Forest biomass can be converted to other biofuels like methane, ethanol, methanol, diesel or converted directly into electricity or heat.
Conversion to biofuels only utilizes a portion of the plant material so they are not very efficient.
Generation of electricity does utilize the entire plant but with only 21% efficiency.
Direct heat generation from biomass is around 90% efficient.
The conclusion of this is that forest biomass is best utilized as a source of direct thermal heat.
Direct heat is also the easiest way to extract energy from biomass and systems are already in place to utilize forest biofuel for heating such as wood stoves, wood boilers and pellet stoves.
Pellet stoves are showing the most practical and possibly the most efficient way to utilize forest and agricultural biomass as a source of energy.
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