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Energy from biomass? Everything you need to know...


Biomass is the most widely used form of renewable energy in the Netherlands. But what do you really know about this energy source?
Because of increasing climate change, renewable energy has become more important than ever. That's why we would like to tell you more about biomass, including:

What is biomass?

Biomass is a broad umbrella term for all organic substances. A few examples are:

  • Agricultural crops
  • VGF waste
  • Manure
  • Wood or woodchips

These substances are fermented or gasified into biofuel. When this biofuel is subsequently burned, energy is released. Energy from biomass is sustainable because it comes from a renewable energy source. It is not a new way of producing energy. Marco Polo, the explorer, had already discovered that the Chinese were covering sewage tanks to create biogas.

How does it create energy?

Biomass can be used to produce energy in various ways, but the most common way is through combustion and fermentation. When organic material is burned, steam is released. This steam, the biogas, is converted into electricity and heat in a turbine. To make the biogas suitable for our gas network, it is upgraded to green gas. When the right quality has been reached, it is fed into the gas network.

Does biomass have negative effects?

There is a discussion going on whether biomass is really sustainable. When energy is produced from imported wood, CO2 is released during transport and forests are cut down for this purpose. CO2 is also released during combustion. Although the latter is not a problem according to some. According to them, the plants that are fermented have absorbed existing CO2, which is then released during combustion. So there is no new CO2 emission. Moreover, growing trees and plants store this CO2 again. Although, according to others, it takes too long before the released CO2 is stored again and in the meantime it can still influence the climate.

Find out more about renewable energy

Will you help us in our mission to create a sustainable future for our planet? Then check out our other blog on renewable energy: