Biomass Energy

Biomass heating system

2250 tons of carbon dioxide emissions avoided with our heating system to fall of 2015!

Since 2006 Burt’s Greenhouses have been heating their greenhouses with Biomass. What is Biomass? In our case it is wood. We burn waste wood (wood collected from construction, furniture manufactures, skids, etc. If this wood were not used in this way it would likely be land-filled.

What is the environmental advantage of this? Typically heat is derived from fossil fuels. In our case it was furnace oil. Fossil fuel represents a large store of carbon that is inert until it is released via combustion. The combustion of Biomass or Fossil fuel emits Carbon Dioxide gas. Carbon Dioxide is known to contribute to global warming. It is commonly called a greenhouse gas since its presence in the atmosphere mimics that of the covering on a greenhouse by trapping some of the heat that enters the earth’s atmosphere.

Why is the Carbon Dioxide emitted from Biomass different from that emitted from Fossil Fuels. In the atmosphere there is no difference but the difference lies in the fact that Biomass is renewable. The wood that we derive our fuel from has captured CO2 from the atmosphere over its lifetime. We do release that C02 to the atmosphere but currently growing Biomass is able to capture it. We can then burn that Biomass to produce heat thus creating a closed cycle. This is why Biomass is considered a renewable energy source.

Of course it does take some fossil fuel to drive this process since the wood must be ground and trucked however it is still a fraction of the energy that we derive from the wood. Our net C02 emissions are dramatically reduced but still positive.

Report on “Greenhouses” done by;

Maarten Lubbers and Stephen Edmonds
St. Lawrence College Energy Systems Students
This is a nice report on general greenhouse energy usage and ways to reduce that usage …..thanks very much for the acknowledgment!

 

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