The Conversion of Biomass - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Conversion of Biomass

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  1. The Conversion of Biomass

  2. Any biologically produced matter (anything natural) • 146 billion metric tons • mostly wild plant growth • Potential energy source, naturally stored sun’s energy (plant material)

  3. Methane Gas Main ingredient in natural gas Can be produced by human, animal, and agricultural wastes. Biogas is isolated by the use of methane digesters. Ethanol/ Biodesil Fuels Ethanol can be produced by fermenting certain plants Biodesil is produced by using left over food pruducts such as Vegetable oil Animal fats

  4. Produced domestically, from renewable resources • Ethanol is grain alcohol produced by corn and other crops • Blended with gasoline to make fuels • Ethanol blended gasoline is becoming more readily available and more cost efficient to consumer • The most common types of ethanol gas are: E10, which is 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded gasoline, appropriate for any make or model of any engine, and E85 which is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, must have flex-fuel engine to use… • Ethanol contains oxygen, so it burns cleaner and prevents gunky build up of automotive engines.

  5. Grind crops into fine powder, remainder is used to feed livestock • powder is mixed with water and alpha-amylase, an enzyme that helps break the starch into smaller particles. The resulting mash is cooked at 120 to 150 degrees to liquefy the starch and reduce bacteria levels, and then heated to 225 degrees to help break the starch down further. • mash is removed from the cookers and cooled. Then a second enzyme, glucoamylase, is added to help convert the liquid starch into a sugar that can be fermented. • The mash is mixed with yeast, which changes the sugar to ethanol and carbon dioxide. It takes about 48 hours for the mash to ferment. • Mixture is heated again to isolate ethanol, ethanol the condenses to its liquid form

  6. All ethanol product will be American made and farmers will benefit from subsidies! Provides more than 200,000 American jobs directly Adds thirty cents of value to every bushel of corn Very little bi-products, all of which are disposed of in very sustainable methods Reduces consumer cost by extending the supply Lowers both emissions and dependence on foreign oils Has the potential to raise food expenses for the whole nation Process needs some experimenting to see if we can make it a bit more efficient.

  7. Grows very successfully in our area • seems to be potentially more promising then corn, due to less waste… the whole plant is used to produce ethanol, not just a part. Needs very little energy to grow • Very high net energy and high output energy. • Can grow in harsher areas • Prevents erosion • Decreases wind flow

  8. Created in anaerobic environments (landfills) • Greenhouse gas, much more powerful than carbon dioxide • Municipal solid waste landfills are the largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for about 25 percent of these emissions in 2004 • In waste to energy plants trash is burned to produce steam that can be used to either heat buildings or generate electricity. • When biomass rots, it releases methane gas (biogas, landfill gas) some landfills collect this gas so that it can be used as a fuel source • Some dairy farmers collect methane gas in “digesters” where they put all their animals wastes.

  9. The production of crops for ethanol will reduce the area of valuable crop land, however, it will also help lower emissions… pesticide use may be increased • still debate on feasibility and efficiency

  10. • • • p/overview.htm • • •