The term Biomass most often refers to organic matter such as timber and crops grown specifically to be burnt to generate heat and power.
Biomass is sustainable and generally carbon neutral because the carbon released in the combustion process is offset by the carbon trapped in the organic matter by photosynthesis during its growth. To be truly carbon-neutral we need to make sustainable use of plants or trees as fuel, and replant them as we harvest them – so that the carbon is reabsorbed in a continuous and virtuous cycle.
The most popular UK biomass crops are short rotation coppice, willow and poplar, Miscanthus (Elephant Grass), Reed Canary Grass and Oil Seed Rape.
Emissions from wood used as fuel contain virtually no sulphur dioxide and very low levels of nitrous oxides, so won’t cause acid rain. If wood is seasoned for two years and burnt efficiently it gives off very low amounts of smoke particulates and the ash is an excellent fertiliser. Larger stoves are often fitted with a ‘Lamda’ sensor, which regulates the amount of oxygen added, and so optimises combustion efficiency.
The use of wood pellets, which are usually made of highly compressed waste sawdust, for heating is well established in countries such as North America, Sweden, Austria and Denmark. There is now an emerging pellet industry in the UK and there are currently two UK manufactures of wood pellet boilers.
The 2008 Energy Act makes provision for financial assistance to be given to organisations generating renewable heat and using local resources that would otherwise go to landfill. As most biomass and Bio Fuels are sourced locally, to avoid carbon use in transportation there are additional benefits gained by local economies through the creation of supply lines and jobs.
Ameon can provide the full design and installation of Biomass only boiler or duel fuel boiler plant/CHP to provide the full heating and domestic hot water requirements of your development.