Most of us have heard of Bioenergy or biofuel. However, the majority of us might think that this is a modern form of energy. This could not be any further from the truth because the history of Bioenergy dates back centuries.
There is a lot of evidence out there that suggests humans used Bioenergy over a million years ago. From the moment humans discovered fire, we began using biofuel in the form of wood. From this point forward, biomass started taking different forms – it can be converted into heat, steam, or electricity through five basic processes: combustion, anaerobic digestion, fermentation, gasification, and pyrolysis.
Products derived from solid biomass that can be used in direct energy conversion processes, obtained from biomass by generally physical transformations, such as chipping, grinding, or drying, as well as densification in the case of briquettes and pellets. This article will assess these potentials for biomass to play an essential role in future energy scenarios.
Promotion, development, and implementation of bioenergy programs and installation of efficient institutional systems and structures will support bioenergy programs. It is absolutely essential that farmers get awareness, information, and recognition of their efforts for large-scale adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.
Strategic policy-making and implementation of sensing centres at all levels will play an important role in creating awareness among farmers.
Digitalization is an essential factor when it comes to streamlining the process to ensure proper implementation of schemes, robust monitoring, and technology-based verification mechanism is crucial where technology-driven entrepreneurs can be a part of the change-making.
The figure outlines the sample governance mechanism.
Modernizing the agricultural economy and catalyzing rural development
The development of efficient biomass handling technology, improvement of agroforestry systems, and establishment of the small, medium, and large-scale biomass-based biomass briquettes/pellets plants can play a significant role in rural development.
Biomass consumption worldwide has two clear patterns; on the one hand, it is the only source of energy for nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide, mainly living in rural areas of developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Approximately 70% of biomass energy is consumed in developing countries for traditional uses with very low efficiencies (10%-20%). On the other hand, in industrialized countries, Bioenergy is primarily untapped and forgotten. Modern biomass usage for heat and power generation includes high-efficiency, direct biomass combustion, co-firing with coal, and biomass gasification. These modern uses are rapidly increasing all over the world.
Biomass consumption in industrialized countries is expected to continue growing since its use compared to other traditional energy sources (primarily when used for heating) is less damaging to the environment while also offering economic savings under certain conditions.
The advantages of biomass consumption make it a great candidate for a sustainable energy source in homes and businesses. The use of biomass energy has significant economic and environmental benefits, from saving money on fuel to enhancing the local economy, cutting down on pollution attributed to fossil fuels, and enhancing forest management by reducing fire risks and severity.
The transformation of the energy sector through the deployment of more sustainable energy systems and digital transformation of the industry will substantially alter the way people live, consume, produce, and trade. These significant transformations are concurrent and interconnected.
Sustainable energy transition and Industry 4.0 share essential characteristics: both are highly influenced by technological innovations, dependent on the development of new suitable infrastructures and regulations, and are potential enablers for new business models. Extensive research in the fields of plant genetics, analytical techniques, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS), Artificial Intelligence (AI) will immensely help in increasing the energy potential of biomass feedstock.
BiofuelCircle is revolutionizing the green energy space along the same lines. Its cloud-based digital platform enables various participants of the bioenergy supply chain to connect and work together to form a digitally-driven biofuel ecosystem of their own.
Through such disruptive business models, the bioenergy supply chain in
India is sure to reach a more organized and efficient state, making it easier for every stakeholder to follow a sustainable business model along the way.
Future Topics :
1) Biomass and its Management
2) Biomass As Biofuel – Challenges and opportunities
3) Biofuel & Boiler Efficiency
4) Migration of Coal to Biofuel for Green Steam
5) Role of AI & Technology from Biomass collection to Green Steam
Shri Rishikesh Deshpande, Managing Director and Project Consultant, Sustainable Biobrikets Pvt. Ltd