For much of human history, most of the energy we required came from our own muscles, the muscles of animals, or from burning biomass such as crops or wood. The dawn of the industrial revolution ushered in a new, more efficient era, with fossil fuels being used to power all manner of things. For almost two centuries, fossil fuels were the driving force behind rapid progress and change on almost every level, including economic, social and technological development.
However, in the past fifty years or so, increased knowledge about the causes of climate change and the damage fossil fuel use does to the environment have led humans to begin seeking other sources of energy that are more sustainable.
Renewables currently account for only a small percentage of global energy use, but this percentage is increasing all the time as technology improves and sourcing renewable energy becomes more practical and affordable. The embedded infographic contains some statistics for global use of renewable energy.
Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels’ Business Development Director, is part of a team which has developed an innovative new technology for creating energy from organic waste sources. This type of biomass technology has the potential to cover around a fifth of the total global energy demand while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Human society has always produced large volumes of organic waste – such as animal manure, food wate and agricultural residues – and the volume is only increasing as the population grows. These types of waste have the potential to be transformed into clean energy that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and lowering the global carbon footprint.
Biomethane and biogas are clean sources of energy that could help drive sustainable energy development. The benefits of increased exploration into the production of bioenergy would be widespread, having a positive impact on almost every industry as well as the environment.
The International Energy Agency is calling on governments to start backing research and development for biogas and biomethane manufacture. The use of these energy sources would drive human society closer to a circular economy. The short video attachment explains more about circular economies.
Biomass is one of the earliest forms of sustainable energy used by humans. Burning wood and crops for heat and light predates our use of fossil fuels. Technologies such as the patented technology being developed by Renovare Fuels have the potential to make biomass much more efficient and take energy from sources that would otherwise be waste, rather than competing with agriculture and other industries for materials.
Biomass can come from many different types of crops that are grown specifically for the purpose of generating energy. It can also be created from agricultural waste, such as manure, slurries, used straw, fertilizer excess and other waste products, which can be burned for energy. Many of these types of products can be anaerobically digested, which produces biomethane which can be converted into usable natural gas.
Various types of municipal and industrial waste can also be used to create energy, such as the large-scale food waste generated by the restaurant industry and carpentry waste. Biomass not only reduces the global carbon footprint from energy production – it also reduces landfill.
You can learn more about the ways in which biomass can be treated and used to create viable energy in the PDF attachment to this post.