Is there really a relationship between biomass and global warming? This has been a constant debate among environmentalists and scientists. However, for you to understand them better, it's important that they are defined.
What Is Global Warming?
Have you noticed the temperature lately? Over the years, the overall global temperature just keeps on rising, which then affects the seasons and climates of countries. Summer has become much longer. Rain doesn't fall as often as it should.
This is because of a phenomenon aptly called global warming. It is described as the gradual increase of the surface temperature of the earth caused by greenhouse gases. These include methane, nitrous oxide, and even carbon dioxide.
These types of gases have at least three atoms that are not too tightly bonded. Hence, when heat touches them, they vibrate and release radiation, which is then being absorbed by other greenhouse molecules. Heat is basically trapped into our atmosphere.
How Biomass Fits In
Biomass is a type of alternative energy derived from living materials such as wood and animals. Some of the common materials used for the creation of biomass include sawdust, wood, cardboard, and animal manure. You can also make use of tapioca, maize, and potatoes (they are mainly used in creating chemical biomass).
Through the years, biomass has been considered to be one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels and coals. These two are the main reasons why power plants are able to supply electricity to millions of homes all over the world.
However, there are plenty of issues with them. First, because they are non-renewable, unlike biomass, they will soon run out and become rare. This will eventually increase their costs in the market. As you know, procurement costs are normally passed on to consumers. Thus, they pay more.
They can also be damaging to the environment because they give off nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide. Both then combine to produce components for acid rain, which kills off plants and animals, especially marine species, and destroys building foundations by damaging steel and iron.
So countries such as UK are shifting their attention to the biomass.
Lately, though, a lot of studies have revealed that biomass doesn't in any way stop the progression of greenhouse effect and global warming. This is because the by-products of their processes still include carbon dioxide and even methane. They can still continue to heat up the atmosphere and disturb weather cycles and climate.
Nevertheless, you should know that between biomass and conventional fossil fuels, the former is definitely the lesser evil. You can still be able to control the amount of gases released in the landfill as well as the production of methane. It also contributes significantly to global warming when you disrupt the natural release of carbon such as when you burn forests.
Moreover, there are friendlier options for creating biomass, such as composting and fermentation. The former can improve the condition of the soil so you can grow better crops while the latter produces ethanol, which has shown great promise in giving an alternative fuel for vehicles.