ENERGY POTENTIAL FOR BIOMASS IN ARIZONA
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What is Biomass?
The Biomass segment of the renewable energy industry has seen increased interest in 2005, with (1) scientific breakthroughs in how to make the energy conversion process more efficient, (2) state governments encouraging greater use of renewable fuels, and (3) the U.S. Department of Agriculture issuing grants and loan guarantees to forward-thinking ventures that are leading the charge to propel renewable, biomass energy generation into the mainstream.
Biomass energy can be generated by any of the following methods:
1. Gasification, pyrolysis or direct combustion of forest residues
2. Co-firing with coal at existing coal plant(s)
3. Anaerobic digester gas with waste from pig farm(s)
4. Anaerobic digester gas from sewage treatment
5. Landfill gas (as communities develop)
6. Paper mill sludge gasification/combustion
Biomass energy production also stimulates rural economies by creating stable, long-term, well-paying jobs that are a much-needed boon to rural communities. This type of production is also considered environmentally friendly because it does not contribute to the production of greenhouse gases that fossil fuels have been criticized for generating. Biomass energy production also provides a means to clear overgrowth in Arizona forests, which may reduce the risk of wildfires that have ravaged the state in recent years.
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