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Biomass

 

Biomass energy, including biological materials such as plant matter and animals, is an important option in terms of power generation. Biomass for fuel comes from sugarcane, corn, switchgrass plant, and hemp. One advantage of residual biomass that can be used to produce alcohol, methanol and methane. 
Colombia has the potential of biomass from bananas, coffee pulp, and animal waste. It has been suggested that biogas can be obtained from anaerobic treatment in banana producing areas. Urabá region in northern Antioquia department has about 19,000 hectares of banana plantations, producing over 1 million tons annually. The potential of the coffee comes from the waste, which is nearly 40 percent of the total wet weight. It is estimated that about 85,000 TOE / year would produce 190 million m3/year of biogass generated from coffee plantations, equivalent to 995,000 MWh (Perez and Osorio 2002).

It is estimated that annual energy potential of biomass in Colombia should be approximately 16,260 MWh (1398 TOE), distributed as follows: 658 MWh / year of biodiesel, 2640 MWh / year of bioethanol, 11,828 MWh / year of waste from agriculture, 442 MWh / year of waste from planted forests, and 698 MWh / year of natural forest residues (ISAGEN SA 2005). It is estimated that the garbage dumps of the four major cities in Colombia (Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla) have the potential to provide an installed capacity of 47 MW (ISAGEN SA 2005). Using waste deposits and agricultural processes can reduce waste disposal. Notably, however, some difficulties are associated with biomass energy generation. Namely, the fuel occupies a large space during transport (which also implies an energy cost and this cost is intensified if the fuel is being transported long distances). Similarly, biomass has a low energy content, may be a diffuse resource in some areas, fuel is a heterogeneous and sometimes can serve limited uses. However, it should be noted that Colombia has great potential that can be exploited - without significant costs and also help solve the problem of waste disposal.

For further information check out altenergy.org for more resources on Biomass.