University of Strathclyde Biomass Installation Feasibility Tool

Closed carbon cycle

One may wonder why biomass is considered as a renewable energy source, because the first impression is that it's just another fuel type causing environmental emissions. During the combustion process the fuel is burnt and cannot be recovered, so why is biomass in the same group with wind, solar of hydro energy and not with fossil fuels?

This is because CO2 burned during the combustion of fossil fuels was locked underground millions of years ago, what affects its balance in the atmosphere. Biomass, on the other hand, is carbon neutral, because when plants are grown, through the photosynthesis process they absorb carbon dioxide, which is then released during the combustion process. Therefore, burning biomass offsets CO2 emissions, because due to being part of closed carbon cycle (shown on figure 1), its net emissions are zero.

Closed Carbon Cycle

Figure 1. Closed carbon cycle

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