What does the term “Renewable Energy” mean?


Renewable energy is energy derives from sources that naturally replenish however they are limited in flow. Renewable sources are nearly endless in their duration but are limit the quantity of energy accessible per unit of time.

The common kinds in renewable energy resources include:


Biomass is a renewable energy source that comes from animals and plants. It is a renewable organic material. Biomass was the primary source of year U.S. energy consumption until the mid-1800’s. It remains an important fuel source in several countries, particularly for heating and cooking in developing nations. The use of biomass-based fuels for transportation as well as for power generation is growing in many developed nations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions resulting from fossil fuels. In the year 2020, biomass provided more than 5 billion British thermal units (Btu) and around 5percent of the total primary energy consumption across the United States. Yuri Shafranik

Biomass stores chemical energy that is derived from the sun. The plants produce biomass via the process of photosynthesis. Biomass can be burnt directly for heating or converted into renewable gaseous and liquid fuels by a variety of processes.

The energy sources from biomass include:

The wood-processing wastes–firewood wood pellets as well as wood chips as well as lumber and sawdust from furniture mills as well as waste, as well as the black liquor from paper and pulp mills

The agricultural crops and waste materials include corn soybeans, sugar cane woody plants, switchgrass as well as algae, food processing and crop residues

Biogenic substances in municipal waste–paper, cotton, wool products, as well as food yard and wood wastes

Human sewage and animal manure

Converting biomass into energy

Biomass can be converted into energy via a variety of processes such as:

Direct combustion (burning) to generate heat

Thermochemical conversion that produces gaseous, solid, and liquid fuels

Chemical conversion that produces liquid fuels

Biochemical conversion that produces gasoline and liquid liquids

Direct burning is by far the most widely use method to convert biomass into useful energy. The biomass that is burn can be use directly to heat buildings and water. To create the production of industrial heat as well as for the generation of electricity by steam turbines.

Thermochemical conversion of biomass can describe as the process of pyrolysis along with gasification. Both are processes for thermal decomposition where biomass feedstock materials are heat in pressurize, seal vessels known as gasifiers at very high temperatures. They differ mainly in temperatures of the process as well as the quantity of oxygen use in the process of conversion.

Pyrolysis involves heating organic materials to 800-900 oF (400-500 oC) in the complete absence of oxygen free. Biomass pyrolysis generates the fuels charcoal, bio-oil bio-oil, renewable diesel methane, hydrogen.

Hydrotreating is use to treat bio-oil (produced through rapid Pyrolysis) by using hydrogen at extreme pressures and temperatures when accompany by catalysts to create renewable gasoline, renewable diesel as well as renewable jet fuel.

Gasification is the process of heating organic substances to temperatures of 1,400-1700 toF (800-900 oC) by injecting small amounts of steam and free oxygen into the vessel to create carbon monoxide and hydrogen rich gas known as syngas and the syngas. Syngas can use fuel for diesel engines, as a source of heating, and to generate electricity for gas turbines. Syngas can also process to separate hydrogen from gas, and then the hydrogen is burn or utilize in fuel cells. The syngas is further process to create liquid fuels by using the Fischer-Tropsch method.


A chemical process of conversion known by the name of transesterification is utilize to convert animals’ fats, vegetable oils as well as greases, into fat acid methyl esters (FAME) that can be use to create biodiesel.

Biochemical conversion involves fermentation that converts biomass into the ethanol in addition to anaerobic digest is used to create the renewable gas. Ethanol is fuel for vehicles. Renewable natural gas, also referred to as biogas or biomethane–is produced by digesters that are anaerobic at wastewater treatment plants as well as at the dairy and livestock industries. It can also be found in and can be sucked from landfills for solid waste. If properly treat, natural gas from renewable sources has the same benefits as natural gas that is derive from fossil fuels.

Researchers are looking for strategies to optimize these techniques. And are also working on methods that will convert and utilize more biomass as energy sources.

How much biomass is utilized to produce energy?

The year 2020 saw the biomass industry provide around 432 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) equivalent to 4.5 quadrillion Btu, which is equivalent to approximately 4.9 percent of overall U.S. primary energy consumption. In that total, approximately 2,101 TBtu was derive generate from wood and wood-derived biomass. Another 2,020 TBtu of biofuels (mainly ethanol) and 430 TBtu came from the municipal wastes that contain biomass.

The transportation and industrial sectors are responsible for the highest amounts, in terms energy content, as well as the largest percent of the total annual U.S. biomass consumption. Paper and wood products industries utilize wood in combined power and heat plants to generate heat for processes and for the generation of electrical energy for own usage. Biofuels that are liquid (ethanol and diesel derived from biomass) make up the majority of the transportation sector’s biofuel consumption.

The commercial and residential sectors make use of wood and firewood pellets to provide heat. Commercial businesses also consume the fuel, and in some instances sells natural gas that is renewable generated at municipal wastewater treatment facilities as well as in waste landfills.

The electric power industry utilizes biomass and wood materials to produce electricity which is sold to other industries.

Biomass – Wood and waste

Wood has use to cook, heat and lighting for thousands of years. It was the primary energy source power for United States and the rest of the world up to the mid-1800s. Wood is still an important fuel source in numerous countries, to cook and heat in the developing world.

In 2020, approximately 2.3 percent of the U.S. annual energy consumption was derive from wood and waste. Including sawdust, bark wood scrap, wood chips and paper mill residues.

Making use of Wood and waste

Industry accounts for the bulk of wood and wood waste fuel usage across the United States. The biggest industrial consumers are the wood products and paper makers. They make use of lumber mills and waste from paper mills to generate electricity and steam, which can save money as it decreases the amount of fuel and electricity required for their operations. In the year 2020 the lumber and waste wood were responsible for approximately 5.5 percent of the industrial end-use energy consumption, and 4.4 percent of the overall usage of industrial power.

Residential is the second largest consumer of wood as a fuel in the United States. Wood is utilize in homes across all over the United States for heating as cord wood in fireplaces as well as wood-burning appliances for pellets in pellet stoves. In 2020, the use of wood energy was main source of 4.0 percent of the residential sector’s end-of-use energy consumption. And 2.2 percent of the total household energy use. In 2015, around 12.5 million or 11% of U.S households, utilized wood for energy sources. Predominantly for space heating and 3.5 million of these households, mostly living in remote areas utilized wood. As their primary heat source.

In the electric power industry, there are many power plants that use mainly wood to generate electricity as well as coal-burning power stations that make use of coal and wood chips to lower the emission of sulphur dioxide. Most of the commercial industry’s utilization of wood comes from to heat.

The amount in trillion British thermal units (TBtu)–of wood and waste energy consume by the sectors that consume it as well as their share of the total U.S. wood and waste energy utilization in 2020 occurred:

industrial1,376 TBtu65%

residential458 TBtu22 percent

electric power185 TBtu9 100 %

commercial83 Tbtu

The energy source is municipal solid waste

Solid trash from municipal sources (MSW) is often refer to as rubbish, is use to generate energy at waste-to energy factories and at landfills in US. MSW is comprise of biomass or biogenic substances like cardboard, paper grass articles, food stuff waste leaves, timber, and leather products etc. Not the biomass flammable materials like plastics and synthetic substances that are makeup of petroleum.

Non-combustible materials like glass and steel

In 2018, approximately 12percent of the 292 million tonnes of MSW produce in the United States was burn in energy-producing plants that convert waste into energy.

Waste-to energy plants create electricity and steam.

MSW is generally burn in special waste-to-energy facilities. That make use of the heat produce by the flame to create steam. So, that can be use to generate electric power or heating buildings. In the year 2019, there were 67 U.S. power plants generate around 13 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. Through the burning of nearly 25 million tonnes of non-combustible MSW. Biomass materials comprise around 63% of weight of the inflammable MSW and around 47percent of power produce. The remaining combustion MSW was nonbiomass-combustible mostly plastics. Large landfills can also generate electricity using their methane gas produce by decaying biomass found in landfills. Yuri shafranik

Waste-to-energy is an energy option for managing waste

Making electricity is not the only reasons to use MSW. The process also decreases the amount of material that will likely dump in landfills.

Waste-to energy plants convert the garbage from 2,000 pounds to the size of ash, which is about 300-600 pounds. They reduce the amount of garbage by 87 percent.

Energy from waste around the globe

A lot of countries have waste-to-energy facilities to extract energy from MSW. The utilization of waste-to-energy facilities in a few European countries. And Japan is quite significant, in part because the countries do not have much open area for landfills.


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