Advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy

thin wild ants eating in forest

Biomass refers to the total organic matter found on the earth’s surface in terms of plants and animals




These plant/animal matter can be converted into energy by biological and thermochemical processes

The main sources of biomass energy are agricultural wastes

Animal waste such as cow dung and human waste is used to produce biogas




a combustible gas generated by the fermentation of organic matter e.g. cow dung

Biogas can be used as cooking gas and in refrigerators

Advantages of biomass energy

  • Inexhaustible as long as there is organic matter.
  • Available throughout the world.
  • Cheap because uses waste products.
  • Production doesn’t require advanced technology
  • Biogas gives twice as much heat as natural gas.
  • Slurry left behind when biogas is being made can be used as fertilizer.




Disadvantages of biomass energy

  • Cannot be transported over longer distances.
  • Contributes to global warming (pollution) if burnt directly.
  • Requires large spaces for the construction of the bio-digesters