is the oldest fuel known to man. Burning wood rather than fossil fuels
can reduce the carbon dioxide emissions responsible for global climate
Wood fuel is carbon dioxide (C02) neutral. It gives off only as much CO2
when burnt as it stores during its lifetime. In addition, wood fuel has
very low levels of sulphur, a chemical that contributes to acid rain.
refers to energy produced by the combustion or gasification of organic
material. It includes short - rotation coppice, forestry waste and chicken
crops for fuel, particularly wood coppice, offers very promising developments
for the future. Short rotation arable coppicing, using fast growing willows,
is currently seen as an important source of fuel for electricity generation
in the UK.
Biomass has some attractions as a fuel over some other renewables since
it is not an intermittent resource - it can be supplied on a continuous
basis to fuel base load plants.
overall process involves several stages - growing over two or three years,
cutting and converting to wood chip, storage and drying, transport to
a power plant for combustion.
from crops has been recognised as a potential key renewables market segment
in the UK Government's Renewables Policy.
A number of biomass schemes, including forest waste, are currently under
development in the UK. The £28m Arbre project in Yorkshire is an
example of an advanced wood fired gasification/turbine plant.
Biomass heating is now being used in several of the most innovative building
projects in the UK - for example the Norman Foster designed greenhouse
of the Welsh National Botanic Gardens and the Eden project in Cornwall.
are other crops that can be grown to produce fuels, in the form of oil,
for use in specially converted engines. These are called Biodiesels. Oilseed
rape is one crop that can be used in this way.
crops can be grown for direct burning. These are called Biofuels. Growing
crops for fuel may provide a useful alternative for farmers at a time
when there is a falling demand for traditional produce.