What is bioenergy? And how will it work with CCS?
Bioenergy is made from biomass or biofuels. Essentially, it is organic matter, such as wood, plants and forest waste. Other sources are extensive, with developing countries currently using many of these for the purpose of creating heat. The burning of firewood is a basic example; however, materials such as waste from sawmills, sawdust, biogenic materials including wool products, garden waste, paper and cotton can also be utilised in biomass energy creation.
Using biomass technology is a comprehensive recycling tool taking much of the landfill waste and turning it into a sustainable energy source.
Sustainably farmed forests created for biomass are a positive global option. A growing forest absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and uses it as food. A forest becomes a temporary carbon sink, absorbing CO2 and returning oxygen. A natural occurring forest will not store carbon forever. The forest will eventually degenerate through the natural process of tree decay and the decomposition of other organic matter. In some cases, there may be more dead trees than living trees and in this case the forest is releasing more CO2 than it is absorbing. Other factors also contribute such as forest fires and deforestation.
When the tree dies, the process of decomposition releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere. Biomass takes advantage of this natural process. Instead of the carbon escaping back into the atmosphere, it is processed and used to create energy. New saplings then replace the old trees to regenerate the cycle.
Decaying forests are one thing; however, the primary source of carbon emissions comes from the combustion of fossil fuels for industry and transportation. Oil, coal and gas add billions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere for the first time every year, where it will cycle forever. As we know, CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the lower atmosphere and is a significant contributor to global warming. Before, these fossil fuels were stored safely underground away from the atmosphere. This storage is a natural part of the carbon cycle.
Biomass and CCS are mirroring the natural carbon cycle. The organic carbon is utilised to generate energy streams, CCS captures the carbon from the burning process and sequesters it back underground where it should be.
There is a huge opportunity in biomass technology for high CO2 emitting industries. Creating negative emissions and the use of renewables, hydrogen and electric vehicles are top level priorities, all contributing to decarbonising the economy. One such company that is investing heavily in biomass technology is UK based energy company DRAX. The use of bioenergy in combination with CCS (BECCS), is regarded as the most scalable negative emissions technology currently available.
DRAX is currently trialling the technology at its power station in North Yorkshire in the UK. The company believes the combination of bioenergy and CCS technology is the best option to not only explore carbon neutral energy sources, but the added CCS technology goes further in removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
BECCS creates a platform delivering on three key areas of climate change:
CCS Energy is committed to forging your path toward net zero emissions. Our expertise can help clients set realistic targets and tap into additional asset value through carbon offset mechanisms available through various global emission trading schemes. Our team members are CSS experts and well engineers, passionate about identifying efficient and cost-effective transition technology to capture and store carbon and reduce your operation’s carbon footprint.
With years of technical experience in the petroleum industry, we can provide all aspects of technical design, project management and regulatory administration.