Biomass, Present and Future
Normally agriculture means the production of food and fiber. Today’s agriculture is not only the manufacturing of food and fiber, but also the production of fuel; the three F’s of food, fiber, and fuel make up agriculture. I would like to discuss the potential uses of biomass as fuel. We are all aware that our natural resources are not infinite. According to one estimate (Klass, 1974), the average depletion rate of global coal, oil, and natural gas is between 50 and 150 years. In the United States the fossil fuel reserve is about 500 years (Fisher, 1974). Other energy sources, such as nuclear, geothermal, and wind, will probably be the major fuels of the future, but their development will take time. Therefore, alternate approaches are essential for supplementing the overall energy need. Tapping solar energy for fuel from biomass is just such an alternate. It is particularly reasonable in regions where the supply is high and the fuel demand is low.
KeywordsAnaerobic Fermentation Fuel Demand Biogas Digester Fossil Fuel Reserve Major Fuel
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Anonymous, 1977, “Marsh Gas Production and Utilization,” Compiled by the Szechuan Province, Mian County Science 7 Technology Commission, Agriculture Publishing Co., Peking (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- Fisher, J. C., 1974, “Energy Crisis in Perspective,” John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
- Klass, D. L., 1974, A perpetual methane economy, is it possible?, Chemtech (March):161–168.Google Scholar
- Resource Report, 1975, New Jersey contracts for Nation’s first methane plant, Energy, 3:415.Google Scholar
- Rohter, L., 1978, Gas guzzlers becoming alcoholics in Brazil, Washington Post, August 30, A17.Google Scholar
- Shen-Miller, J., 1977, Harvesting the sun: A biological approach, Perspectives Biology and Medicine, 21:77–88.Google Scholar