Biomass is a renewable organic material used for generating electricity or heat. It has become much more widely used in recent times, both in the UK and the globe. The term 'biomass' can refer to a great many different kinds of fuel, including wood chippings, garden waste, hemp, corn, willow and a number of other materials that are or were recently living.
As fuels like oil and gas run out, alternatives such as biomass are becoming much more popular. Especially in countries like the UK, biomass offers one way to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels - which are obviously very polluting.
Further to this, it is quite arguably in the interest of Britain's long term independence, because currently we rely on fossil fuels from other nations. For example, Russian gas, Norwegian oil and Arabian oil. As the UK does not control these sources of fuel, biomass offers a way to control fuel on British shores.
In recent times willow has become a crop that can make British farmers can make money from. It is often fertilised with human waste, which means the recycling nature of the situation continues. Human waste cannot be used for food crops, as stated by law, but it can be used for fuel crops such as this which do not enter the human food chain.
Even though this fuel is considered a renewable fuel, its usage can still add to global warming. This occurs when the equilibrium of natural carbon is disrupted; for instance by cutting down trees or building on green zones. When biomass is utilised as a fuel, for fossil fuel replacement, it still puts the same level of CO2 back into the world's atmosphere.
The carbon found in biomass material, that makes up about fifty percent of this dry matter content, forms part of the atmospheric carbon cycle already. This fuel takes on CO2 from the planet's atmosphere during its lifetime of growing, after which its carbon changes back to the atmosphere as a combination of methane (CH4) and CO2 - depending on the final fate of the biomass. CH4 is converted to CO2 in the atmosphere above, which completes the cycle.
To conclude, biomass appears to promise an ideal alternative to the polluting use of fossil fuels. While it does contribute to global warming, it is arguably a far more preferable choice. If it can be extended to many other parts of our daily lives, then it will be a powerful weapon against the increase of global warming - helping us save our planet.