Biomass is a renewable energy resource formed by organic matter from natural or provoked biological activity present on our planet. There are different forms of organic matter available that can be transformed, among which the following can be highlighted:

  1. Forest biomass and forest residues.
  2. Residues resulting from the transformation of wood.
  3. The organic fraction of urban and industrial waste, as well as the organic fraction of sludge from wastewater or industrial water purification.

Esquema de funcionamiento planta de biomasa_Bester

The energy stored in biomass can be used to obtain thermal or electric energy using a wide range of technologies. In the particular case of the production of electrical energy, biomass can be used in conventional electrical stations as a replacement of non-renewable fuels used regularly (coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear fuel).

In these cases, biomass previously conditioned, goes to the boiler grill grilled for combustion, and the heat produced makes the water flow through the pipes of the boiler into steam.

The water that circulates through the interior of the boiler comes from supply tank; before going there, the water has usually passed through an economizer, where it is preheated by heat exchange with the combustion gases coming out of the own boiler to take advantage of the energy power and reduce atmospheric emissions.

The steam generated in the boiler expands in a turbine that drives an electrical generator, where electrical energy is produced, and once its tension level is raised in the transformer, it is poured onto the general network by means of the corresponding transport lines.

The steam of water coming from the turbine is transformed into liquid in the condenser, and hence is sent again to the supply tank, thus closing the main switch of the water of the plant.

The combustion gases are cleaned by purification equipment, before being dumped into the atmosphere through a smokestack. Retained particles, along with the ashes of combustion, are driven to the ashpit to be later transported to a landfill.

In addition to the conventional combustion process, the energy in biomass can be used, by pyrolysis and gasification technology, to produce an energy gas that can be used as a substitute for conventional fuel for electricity production.

Source: Department biomass Bester