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Biomass for energy: from field to fuel

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Agricultural, forestry and residential waste can provide fuel for transport, heat for homes and electricity for businesses, reducing Europe's dependence on imported fossil fuels and lowering green house gas emissions. EU-funded researchers are overcoming challenges to making residual biomass a technically viable and cost-competitive source of renewable energy.

© SYNCOM F & E GmbH

Biomass currently accounts for almost two thirds of renewable energy generation in Europe, mostly in the form of pellets, charcoal and wood for heating homes. Sustainably sourced agricultural and forestry by-products such as straw, tree cuttings and surplus manure, as well as biodegradable residential and food industry waste, can also be used to produce other forms of energy, from biofuels for transport to bio-coal and bio-gas for electricity generation. However, getting biomass from ‘field to fuel’ economically has been one of the biggest impediments to more widespread use.

Visualisation of Optimisation Results from the BIOBOOST project on a map of Europe

© Erik Pitzer- University of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria

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