Biomass is a significant non-conventional energy reserve, which has been considered as a promising alternative over other renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydroelectric storage due to its comparatively ample availability. A variety of biomass types can be converted into useful products via bioenergy technologies. The deep understanding and knowledge of these processes are necessary for optimization and advancement in a cost-effective way. A comprehensive comparison and discussion is conducted with respect to biochemical and thermochemical conversion technology such as microbic digestion and fermentation, pyrolysis, liquefaction and gasification. Pyrolysis is the process of converting biomass into bio oil, charcoal and gaseous factions by heating anaerobically to above 500°C. Liquefaction is a low temperature (LT) and high-pressure thermochemical process to produce marketable liquid over suitable catalysts under hydrogen or reductive environment. Gasification is the conversion of biomass into preferred combustible gas mixture (syngas) via the partial oxidation at high temperature, typically in the range of 800–900°C. The product gas is more versatile and can be burned in gas turbine for electricity production or synthesis of high-value chemicals. The parametric impact, mechanism, development status and future direction have been summarized for each of these technologies with the aim to pave the way for optimization of future investigation.
Part of the book: Biomass Volume Estimation and Valorization for Energy