Biomass: A Sustainable Path to Bioenergy Production
Biomass is a type of organic material that can be used as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. This renewable energy source is derived from living organisms and waste products.
Biomass is a very versatile energy solution. It can be used for various purposes such as:
- Power generation
- Steel and Ferro-alloy generation or as a catalyst for chemical processes
- The production of biofuels
Biomass’ adaptability makes it well-suited for diverse applications, meeting the energy needs of businesses across various industries.
From Biomass to Energy
Once at the facility, the woody materials are sorted, treated compressed, and then pelletized. 90% of our feedstock consists of waste, sawdust, or wood chips. Once it has become a pellet, its suitable for storage and transportation, and then further processing depending on the production process (example: combustion)
Biomass is converted to energy through various processes, with direct combustion being the most common method. Upon delivery, feedstocks are fed into heating boilers and burned in the combustion chamber.
Biomass facilities are equipped with emission control technologies to minimize air pollutants. We collect and appropriately dispose of all combustion by-products, including ash, ensuring responsible and environmentally conscious practices.
How is biomass distributed
The distribution of biomass energy depends on factors such as production scale, the form of converted biomass, available infrastructure, and the specific needs of end-users. The flexibility of biomass allows for customized distribution methods for various applications and situations. Biomass energy can also be integrated into various other processes across different industries such as:
- Power generation
- Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
- Biochemical Processes
- Anaerobic Digestion
- Pyrolysis and Gasification
It can be easily stored on-site and can be used at an appropriate moment depending on the process needs, or requirements, for instance dispatchable energy.
A Global and Reliable Energy Source
Unlike some renewable sources, biomass energy generation is not dependent on weather conditions, providing a stable and reliable energy supply for industrial operations.
Energy derived from woody biomass primarily comes from agricultural, untreated wood residues, forestry often sourced from sustainable forestry management practices to ensure long-term environmental viability and replenishment, or by-products generated by the wood processing industry,
All energy crops supplying biomass to ENGIE Global Energy Management & Sales are certified according to widely recognized international standards (SBP, FSC, PEFC, ISCC).
These standards cover important factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, land use, Social responsibility, Ethics, and biodiversity. Certification helps prevent illegal logging and ensures responsible land use by establishing a traceable chain of custody from initial biomass production to final product, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the supply chain.
Environmental and Economic Benefits of Biomass
Recognized by the EU for its eco-friendly nature, biomass is a renewable resource that plays a key role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Depending on certification, Biomass is considered carbon-neutral and thus free of carbon emissions rights.
Moreover, when combined with carbon capture and storage technology, biomass-based energy takes on an even more significant role. It can help reduce emissions by storing or using CO2 for different industries to achieve negative emissions.
ENGIE Group is a world leader in biomass solutions, trading 3 million tons of biomass each year. Our services are fully integrated and can be tailored to suit your business needs. We are present on the whole supply chain, from upstream selection, shipping, and transportation, to downstream consumption. We can also support clients to design and a tailor the solution fit to their needs.
ENGIE support biomass as a component of their decarbonization journey (link to our page decarbonization journey + solution). Regulatory measures and government incentives further bolster this recognition. This strategic approach positions bioenergy as an indispensable element in meeting renewable energy targets over the next decade.
Interview: Fabien Mehu, Erik Borms and Marie Bonneau