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CIGR Handbook of Agricultural Engineering, Volume V Energy and Biomass Engineering, Chapter 1 Natural Energy and Biomass, Part 1.3 Biomass Resources

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  CIGR Handbook of Agricultural Engineering, Volume V Energy and Biomass Engineering, Chapter 1 Natural Energy and Biomass, Part 1.3 Biomass Resources, pp. 6-11  .(doi:10.13031/2013.36411)
Authors:   O. Kitani
Keywords:   Section Headings: 1.3.1 Principles of Biomass Utilization, 1.3.2 Biomass Energy, 1.3.3 Biomass Material, 1.3.4 Environmental Considerations, 1.3.5 Biomass Systems

First paragraph: Biomass is a renewable resource so far as its production is continued in a sustainable way. It is in huge amount: 1800 billion tons of C as stock resource on the Earth and 170 billion tons of C as flow per year. It forms, in principle, a closed carbon cycle and therefore is CO2 neutral. It is diversified in species, properties, and ways of utilization. It distributes more evenly on the Earth than do other natural resources. Present biomass production needs a certain amount of energy, which comes mainly from fossil resources. In general, it is true that some amounts of both direct and indirect energy input to agriculture are necessary to get better yield. Actually the reduced annual farm production rate after the mid 1980s was caused by the decrease in input means to agriculture. However, if we rely too much on the expiring fossil energy and pollute our environment, sustainability of production itself cannot be secured. As a part of the energy production system utilizing the photosynthetic ability of plants, minimum input should be made to a biomass production process so that the system efficiency is kept as high as possible and at the same time achieves minimal production cost. Biomass conversion is a process to convert photosynthetic material into a more useful form. Energy and material inputs also are needed in this process. Moreover, the heat value of biomass itself usually decreases. Hence the system efficiency of the process is always less than 1 and is expected to be made as high as possible.

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