H2EG Explains: Biomass

Humans have used biomass as a natural energy source for thousands of years. In the energy industry, biomass is any renewable, organic material that comes from plants and animals, used as fuel to produce electricity or heat. “Biomass,” as a category, covers a broad range of materials, but can include agricultural wastes like manure, plant stalks, and straw; wood manufacturing wastes like sawdust or bark; municipal solid waste like landfill-destined garbage; or trees and grasses, either as residue from industry, such as prunings, tree removals, or from purpose-farmed eucalyptus trees and switchgrasses.

Woody biomass is plant material obtained from trees. This may include trees removed through forest management harvests; non-timber tree removal like unwanted or dead trees on developed land; dedicated forests of fast-growing trees intended specifically for biomass markets; or residues from the timber industry like undersized trees and branches.

Biomass Benefits

Using woody biomass for energy production offers many long-term environmental benefits and H2EG believes that it is the only truly sustainable and renewable energy source available today. Woody biomass is particularly beneficial as a fuel source because, in addition to being a renewable resource, it is carbon neutral, doesn’t compete with agricultural food growth, and can reduce wildfire hazards. It can be harvested from existing forests or tall grasslands without adding pressure to natural ecosystems. We can even harvest woody biomass without cutting down mature trees! Best of all, in using woody biomass as a fuel source, nearly all of the carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis during the plant’s life returns to the soil as bio-char, which helps offset your carbon emissions.

This sustainable and renewable resource reduces our dependence on fossil sources of energy and, when converted to Hydrogen with H2EG’s technology, can ultimately provide a continuous and cost-effective source of electricity.

Woody biomass, like the eucalyptus grove pictured above, is our preferred input material, but we have successfully produced Hydrogen from many other sources of biomass, including prairie grasses and residual from food crops.

Educational Resources

For more information about biomass, check out these resources!