Controversy of Biomass

The incineration of biomass has been labeled as a “carbon neutral” form of energy generation. This statement has been surrounded by an atmosphere of criticism. Many have associated it as a carbon neutral energy source, since it involves the burning of natural products, although the emissions are very similar to the combustion of fossil fuels as there are still toxic gases emitted such SOx and NOx gases in addition to carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.


Forestry is the most commonly used type of biomass, which accumulates a significant volume of carbon dioxide through the rotation period. When this is incinerated, it is said that this carbon dioxide which has been collected over the years is then released into the atmosphere. Although the carbon dioxide can be taken in by the forests again, it may take a number of years.


There are many conflicting views on biomass. The Biomass Energy Centre promotes it as being a carbon lean fuel, while the Energy Justice Network oppose this view.  There is then the European Commission, who states that biomass is only effective at reducing emissions when it produced in a sustainable way. These different views are what make the biomass such an intriguing choice for this project.