Benefits of Bioenergy

Bioenergy is renewable electricity, heat or fuels from organic materials that are most often sourced from rural businesses in the agricultural, timber and food processing sectors. Making use of biobased feedstocks can enhance the resilience of rural industries by creating revenue for their waste streams while also benefiting the environment by replacing fossil-based fuels and sequestering carbon.

Biobased materials can be used to generate electricity, heat (either with pellets or bio-oil), or transportation fuel (often using either an enzymatic or thermochemical process to produce a product that can replace gasoline or diesel). Biobased products also can be used to manufacture renewable chemicals and other high-value products, such as bioplastics and polymers.

Sources of Biomass

Traditional Forestry

Agricultural Co-Products

Purpose-Grown Crops

Municipal Solid Waste

Landfill Gas

Animal Manure

How the Biogenic Carbon Cycle Works

Remove Carbon Dioxide

Working forests and purpose-grown energy crops remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In fact, working forests are much more effective at capturing carbon than unmanaged forests, which grow slowly and have a greater risk of massive carbon releases, potentially occurring in wildfires or insect epidemics.

Capture & Store Carbon

Biobased products store carbon for a very long time, even while new forests and crops are growing. Forest products and other biobased products, such as renewable chemicals, are carbon sinks. And the use of wood for building construction is much more energy efficient than other materials like steel and concrete.

Avoid Fossil Fuel Use

Bioenergy displaces the use of fossil fuels and prevents geologic carbon from being released into the atmosphere. When fossil fuel use is avoided, the geologic storage of carbon is preserved. This prevents the addition of new carbon to the atmosphere.

Source: Biomass Thermal Energy Council

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