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The Changing Energy MixA Systematic Comparison of Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy$
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Paul F. Meier

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190098391

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190098391.001.0001

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A Renewable Energy Type

(p.320) 9 Biomass
The Changing Energy Mix

Paul F. Meier

Oxford University Press

Just as a fossil fuel can be burned to generate steam and drive a turbine, biomass can also be burned as a fuel to generate electricity. Biomass comes in many forms, such as wood and wood waste, agricultural waste, municipal waste, and energy crops. In the United States, biomass accounted for 1.5% of electricity generation, and was about 9% of electricity from renewables. Two-thirds of electricity from biomass comes from wood and wood waste. An advantage of using biomass as a fuel is that plants remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, thereby recycling the CO2 made from combustion. The overall footprint of a biomass-to-electricity plant is dominated by the land area needed to grow and harvest the biomass fuel.

Keywords:   forestry resources, agricultural resource, municipal solid waste, bubbling fluidized bed, circulating fluidized bed, Heat content, Deforestation

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