Do plants and animals produce renewable energy? Yes, it can produce such energy which is called biomass. Through photosynthesis, plants convert radiant energy from the sun that forms into chemical energy in the form of glucose or commonly known to us as sugar, while water and carbon dioxide, and sunlight yields glucose and oxygen which we inhale right now.
For complete photosynthesis, there are about six water and six carbon dioxide, and radiant energy to yield glucose and oxygen. Just imagine if tons of plants, crops, and other renewable sources of energy produces energy at the same time; it can power an entire city block without carbon emissions that cause global warming and other harmful effects to the environment.
Biomass can harness an enormous renewable energy source simply because organic materials such as plants and animals is a natural source of energy. Biomass is an organic material that is why it emits less carbon.
Photosynthesis on plants play a key role on producing biomass energy considering that the latter contains stored energy from the sun because plants absorb the sun’s energy through photosynthesis, while when biomass is burned, the chemical energy that it produces comes in the form of a heat which is then manufactured to liquid biofuels, or biogas that can be burned as fuels as the end product of it to produce electricity.
Best examples of biomass and its uses for energy are listed below:
Wood- Technically, using wood does not mean that it should cut down a healthy living wood out of a forest but rather wood processing wastes from different industries and plants that are gathered in tons to be burned and produce heat and generate electricity.
Agricultural waste materials- These agricultural waste materials are the ones that are part of the crops and plants that are not part of the harvest, and instead of going to waste, it is converted into liquid biofuels just like the Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant that can be easily found in the United Kingdom and Europe that is used as a source of biomass energy.
Food waste- Food waste if left to decompose is rich in methane gas which if manufactured correctly can be burned to generate electricity. Landfills have its own electrical power plants using the methane gas produced by waste products such as rotting food, and biodegradable wastes.
How does biomass convert into energy?
Solid biomass like what is mentioned above can be burned directly to produce heat, gas or liquid biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel, which can be converted into energy to produce electricity.
Just like what is happening now across the United Kingdom that instead of killing and getting rid of Japanese knotweed, people and scientists are gathering more studies to prove that it can be a rich source of biomass energy because Japanese knotweed contains a lot of trans-resveratrol which is also responsible for the plant’s ability to generate enormous amounts of energy through capturing and releasing the energy combined heat and power or (CHP) plants that very capable of producing biomass electricity which can be used in different power source such as a solar battery.
It can produce energy through pyrolysis, the rhizomes of the knotweed which were taken to a low-temperature oven, that creates gas and hydrocarbons generate brown coals which are used to fuel electricity.