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Home  »  Feed-in Tariff (FiT)  »  Eligible Renewable Resources  »  Biomass


Biomass is defined as non-fossilised and originating from indigenous plants animals and micro-organisms including but not limited to products biodegradable organic material by-products residues and waste from agriculture industrial and municipal wastes originating from Malaysia.

Electrical power can be generated by burning biomass which will burn. Burning biomass produces many of the same emissions as burning fossil fuels. However, growing biomass captures carbon dioxide out of the air, so that the net contribution of the cycle to global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is zero. Although fossil fuels have their origin in ancient biomass, they are not considered biomass by the generally accepted definition because they contain carbon that has been out of the carbon cycle for a very long time. Their combustion therefore disturbs the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.

Sources of Biomass

Here are various biomass sources, which are a great source of energy that can be used for various applications:

1) Wood and waste wood: Wood is the most commonly used type of biomass. Since the earliest days the fuel being used for cooking and heating is the wood. Even at present wood as the biomass material is major source of energy in a number of developing countries.

2) Leaves of the plants: In the densely planted places lots of leaves fall from the trees. These can be dried, powdered and converted into small pieces, which can be used as the biomass fuel to generate heat or electricity.

3) Agricultural waste: Lots of waste materials obtained from the farms are a great source of biomass materials. Livestock waste can also be used to generate methane gas.

4) Municipal solid waste (MSW), also called urban solid waste, is a waste type that includes predominantly household waste (domestic waste) with sometimes the addition of commercial wastes collected by a municipality within a given area. They are in either solid or semisolid form and generally exclude industrial hazardous wastes. The term residual waste relates to waste left from household sources containing materials that have not been separated out or sent for reprocessing.

•  Biodegradable waste: food and kitchen waste, green waste, paper.
•  Recyclable material: paper, glass, bottles, cans, metals, certain plastics, etc.
•  Inert waste: construction and demolition waste, dirt, rocks, debris.
•  Composite wastes: waste clothing and waste plastics.
• Domestic hazardous waste (also called "household hazardous waste") & toxic waste: medication, paints, chemicals, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries, shoe polish.

Biomass conversion technologies

Biomass power technologies convert renewable biomass fuels to heat and electricity using processes similar to those employed with fossil fuels. At present, the primary approach for generating electricity from biomass is combustion direct-firing. Combustion systems for electricity and heat production are similar to most fossil-fuel fired power plants. The biomass fuel is burned in a boiler to produce high-pressure steam. This steam is introduced into a steam turbine, where it flows over a series of turbine blades, causing the turbine to rotate. The turbine is connected to an electric generator. The steam flows over and turns the turbine. The electric generator rotates, producing electricity. This is a widely available, commercial technology. Combustion boilers are available in different designs, depending on application and biomass characteristics. The main options are to burn the biomass on a grate, or to fluidize the biomass with air or some other medium to provide even and complete burning.

Like coal, biomass can be a cumbersome fuel source because it is a solid. By converting biomass into a gas, it can then be made available for a broader range of energy devices. For example, biomass-sourced gas can be burned directly for heating or cooking, converted to electricity or mechanical work (via a secondary conversion device such as an internal combustion engine), or used as a synthetic gas for producing higher quality fuels or chemical products such as hydrogen or methanol. Gasifiers operate by heating biomass in an environment where the solid biomass breaks down to form a flammable gas. The biogas can be cleaned and filtered to remove problem chemical compounds. The gas can be used in more efficient power generation systems called combined cycles, which combine gas turbines and steam turbines to produce electricity.


  1. http://www.greentechmalaysia.my. Green Technologies Areas, July 2, 2011
  2. http://www.globalproblems-globalsolutions-files.org. Biomass Conversion Technologies, July 3, 2011
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