Energy From Biomass: The Potentialities, Environmental Aspects And Technology
Free (open access)
995 - 1006
G. Genon, D. Panepinto & F. Viggiano
In the perspective of the production of energy and the satisfaction of different forms of energy requirements (electricity, thermal power, fuels), the possibility of using biomass in different forms is yet to be largely applied, but in the future there are very significant possibilities that this solution can be utilized a lot more. In fact it is important to consider these new possibilities in relation to the conversion of marginal agricultural areas to the production of energy crops, the destination of residues for treatment by conversion in energy factors (biogas, thermal gasification) or in energy (thermoelectric plants, co-generation, boilers), and new solutions for biofuels. With the aim to verify these aspects it is important to define the inventories of biomass that are at our disposition or that could be produced in the future, in connection with different hypotheses of development within this field. From these inventories it is possible to establish a potential percentage of the required energy that could be obtained from this type of feedstock. Besides the energy aspect, it is also necessary to evaluate the meaning, the positive aspects and the potential criticisms of these forms of energy production: these evaluations concern an assessment of the requirement for feedstock production, transport and transformation, the positive aspects of the right destination for residues, the effect on greenhouse production and climate change, the potential definition of environmental impacts originating from atmospheric emissions and residuals destination. It is also important to consider the consequences in terms of social and employment aspects; and obviously also aspects concerning the industrial costs, political prices for feedstock and fuels and carbon taxes. On the basis of the defined potential feedstock, it is necessary to evaluate the different technological schemes that can be utilised. In the present paper, all the previously indicated aspects will be reviewed, with reference to the actual and future situations in developed countries and in emerging economies.