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What are the hazards involved in using biomass?


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November 07, 2010 5:38PM

There are many difficulties that are to be faced while using biomass.I have collected them and are printing them here...

-2ndGeneration biofuels:Cellulosicfeedstock (wood, crop residues and grasses, paper -from municipal waste) the technology is yet to reach acceptable levels of economic viability

Direct combustion

􀂄Pyrolysis(Destructive distillation)

􀂄Anaerobic digestion

􀂄Alcoholic fermentation


􀂄Carbonization (Conversion into charcoal)

􀂄Oil extraction and trans-esterification


􀂄Low concentration of biomass per unit area of land and water

􀂄Scarcity of land for food drops and energy

􀂄High moisture content that make transportation expensive and energy conversion inefficient

􀂄Land degradation arising from charcoal harvesting

􀂄Haphazard wood harvest causes severe environmental damage reduced supply of woodfuel

􀂄Pertinent need to improve the efficiency of wood burning stoves to minimize the concentration of pollutants environmental concerns

􀂄Assessment of health effects of emissions from wood stoves and biomass conversion technologies

June 2008

􀂄Competition with other land uses such as food production

􀂄Reduction of natural plant and animal species diversity due to monoculture -less stable ecosystem

􀂄Invasiveness of certain plant species

􀂄Deterioration of soil quality due to continuous use of pesticides and fertilisers

􀂄Increase in the prices of food products

􀂄Air pollution from the combustion of woodfuel(Low combustion efficiency and therefore high emissions of Carbon monoxide, particulate matter especially during the cold seasons (high concentration of wood stoves);

􀂄Polycyclic Organic Matter (POM) emissions such as Benzo(a)pyrenewhich are known carcinogens are the most dangerous components

􀂄CO emission from the equipment used for harvesting, chipping and transport equipment

􀂄Use of wood instead of coal significantly reduces SO2emissions from coal fired plants

􀂄Corrosive effect of sulphurousand sulphuricacid from the reaction of H2S with water.

􀂄Air pollution: fugitive dust from raw material and product handling; organic vapoursfrom the distillation process; volatile organic compounds; odoursfrom fermentation tanks

􀂄Safety: Explosiveness of the gas in confined environments (leaks)

􀂄Odourfrom H2S in biogas

􀂄Decentralisedethanol production may not be favourablefor monitoring environmental conditions and enforcement of environmental standards

16th June 2008 21

􀂄Impacts on water sources by the leaching of biomass storage pile

􀂄Energy requirements, wastes from the distillation process and hazards associated with the use of toxic chemicals

􀂄Damage of aquatic ecosystems arising from stillage(High biological and chemical oxygen demand)

􀂄Reduction of feedlot pollution arising from run off from cattle feed lots (bacteria, suspended and dissolved solids, chemical and biological oxygen demand) especially for aquatic systems

Waste disposal problems

􀂄Effluent from biogas systems contains high concentrations of inorganic salts, H2S and NH3or even heavy metals.

􀂄Elimination of drawbacks of animal manure (disposal problems)

Removal of crop residues from land

􀂄Increased erosion and flow of sediments into surface waters

􀂄Decrease in productivity

􀂄Increased flood potential

I hope this information is handy.......