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UE: SCI 210SC: Energy & Its Impact on Global Society

Science 210

What is BioMass?

To many people, the most familiar forms of renewable energy are the wind and the sun. But biomass (plant material and animal waste) is the oldest source of renewable energy, used since our ancestors learned the secret of fire. Materials range from agricultural residues to algae, grasses, oils and fats. 

Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass can be converted directly into liquid fuels - biofuels - for our transportation needs (cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, and trains). The two most common types of biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.

 

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Energy from Waste

BAGASSE is the dry dusty pulp that remains after juice is extracted from sugar cane or similar plants.
Florida Crystals Corp. produces 1.4 million tons of sugarcane waste, or bagasse, from its Everglades Agricultural Area fields. Bagasse is burned in power plant boilers today. But the company is researching how to turn the biomass into ethanol. ... Here, amid what was a vast Everglades marsh a century ago, is North America's largest biomass power plant.  [Environment and Energy Daily]