Highland Energy Supply Co

The Environmental Benefits of Biomass

Biomass is often called ‘carbon neutral’ as the amount of CO2 released is equal to the amount of CO2 absorbed.

To give an indication of just how effective biomass systems can be as a means to reducing emissions, below is a table which compares the CO2 emissions of various fuels:

Fuel Type Kg of CO2 emissions per kWh
Woodchip 0.018
Wood Pellet 0.026
Gas 0.227
Oil 0.314
Coal 0.414

Biomass does create some challenges such as oxide of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate emissions (PM) but the industry has evolved to create technical solutions which can substantially mitigate this. Solutions such as Electrostatic Precipitators, for example, can retain the overwhelming majority of fly ash which stops it being released into the atmosphere.

Emissions from the combustion of wood both within power generation processes and residential heating appliances will comprise both gases and particles. These include particulate matter (PM) and gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulphur oxides (SOx) and a range of trace species including polyaromatic hydrocarbons. The sulphur content of wood is low and SOx is not likely to pose a particular problem from wood combustion

Emissions Certificates for our Herz biomass boilers are attached and meet all emissions regulations.
Click to view them

EC – Herz-firematic-349-501

EC- converted emission values

MCP EU Directive

Broadly speaking, larger biomass schemes are capable of reducing CO2 emissions by considerably more than smaller schemes, for example, a 1MW biomass project we recently installed will generate over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 reduction, whilst the 6.5MW project at the University of St Andrews is capable of generating 6,000 tonnes of CO2 reduction per annum.

Government legislation, incentives and the economic landscape often converge to make one technology more attractive to clients and consultants than others and currently, where geography and legislation are supportive, biomass is one of the more compelling options for organisations looking to drastically reduce their CO2 emissions in a cost effective way.

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