Biomass: Learn more about it

The information about what is biomass and its importance as a raw material for generating electricity is from the Chamber of Electric Energy Commercialization (CCEE).

“Biomass is the total mass of living organisms in an area. This mass is an important energy reserve, it is essentially made up of carbohydrates. From the energy point of view, for power sector projects grant purposes, biomass is every renewable resource derived from organic matter (animal or vegetable) that can be used to produce energy.

One of the main advantages of biomass is that although efficiency inferior to the other sources, their use can be made directly by means of combustion in furnaces and boilers, for example.

To increase the process efficiency and reducing environmental impact, it has developed more efficient conversion technologies, such as gasification and pyrolysis – thermal decomposition of carbon-containing materials in the absence of oxygen. It is also common to cogeneration systems using biomass as an energy source.

In Brazil, the immensity of the tropical rainy regions offers excellent conditions for the production and energy use of biomass on a large scale with great potential in the electricity generation sector.

In the rest of the country, the wood production, in firewood form, vegetable coal or logs, also generates large amounts of waste that can also be utilized to generate electricity. However, the greatest potential resource for electric power generation in the country is the sugarcane brandy.

The sugarcane industry generates large amounts of waste that can be use to generate electricity, especially in cogeneration systems. Unlike wood production, the cultivation and processing of sugar cane are held in large, continuous lengths, and the use of waste (brandy, straw, vinasse etc.) is facilitated by the centralization of production processes.

On average, each ton of processed cane requires about 12 kWh of electricity, which can be generated by own sugarcane wastes. The generation costs are already competitive with conventional supply system, which enables the self-sufficiency of the sector in terms of energy supply by means of cogeneration.”

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