Different types of biomasses can be used for heating, depending on the source, the quality, and the conversion process.
Some common types of biomasses for heating are:
Wood is the most widely used biomass for heating, as it is abundant, renewable, and easy to burn. Wood can be used in various forms, such as logs, chips, pellets, or briquettes. Wood is considered carbon-neutral if it comes from sustainably managed forests or waste sources.
Agricultural residues are the by-products of crop production, such as straw, stalks, husks, shells, or cobs. Agricultural residues can be used as a low-cost and abundant source of biomass for heating. Agricultural residues can generate heat and electricity through CHP systems or gasification. Agricultural residues are considered carbon-neutral if used instead of being left to decompose or burned in open fields.
Biogas is a mixture of gases, mainly methane and carbon dioxide, produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter, such as animal manure, sewage sludge, food waste, or crop residues. Biogas can be used as a renewable and clean source of biomass for heating, as it has a high calorific value and low emissions. Biogas can also generate heat and electricity through CHP systems or fuel cells. Biogas can also be upgraded to biomethane by removing carbon dioxide and other impurities and then injected into the natural gas grid or used as a vehicle fuel. Biogas is considered carbon-neutral if it avoids methane emissions from organic waste disposal or fossil fuel displacement. However, biogas production and use can also have environmental impacts, such as odour emissions, nutrient leaching, and land use change.
These are some of the main types of biomasses for heating that are currently used or have potential for future development. Biomass for heating can offer many benefits for energy security, climate change mitigation, and rural development.