Depends on the entrepreneurial attitude that everyone in contact with biomass has, the residues may end up in municipal dumps or they can become sources of energy, fuel or prime matter for other products which in the long run represent a form of investing at the same time as reducing global warming.
Biomass is defined by the Biomass Energy Centre as biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. Sources for biomass may be virgin wood, energy crops, agricultural residues, food waste, even industrial waste and co-products. Projects can be started with any of these materials as they can all be transformed for fuel production, only by altering the technology used for the conversion. However, wood seems like the best option to utilize as it is easy to grow, find, and renovate its wastes to turn them into a superb wood fuel while doing so in an environmental friendly way.
LC Energy is a company in the UK that has already achieved the goal of becoming an energy source. Their latest project involves providing fuel that has replaced 20% of the energy needs of a leisure center in Godalming in Surrey with woods harvested from sources located within an eight-mile radius. The University of Salamanca in Spain is also working on using 100% of the forest biomass, to produce electrical energy while using its ash as fertilizers and to improve the quality of concrete.
Latin America also has plenty of woodlands throughout its region, and has nonstop arising economies interested in innovative and green products that can very well become carbon neutral energy sources for local businesses and the rest of the world. There is only one factor missing, the entrepreneurial attitude mentioned earlier, but for that exist partners who know of the opportunities available and can connect them with investors interested in partnering, businesses wanting buy such products or individuals looking to start a green company.
The process starting with the collection of wood in its various stages results in outcomes for many industries: timber, furniture, construction among others. Its residues on the other hand come in the form of sawdust or woodchips and are just as useful to create wood pellets or briquettes. Wood pellets, as defined in a traditional consulting source, “are manufactured in several types and grades as fuels for electric power plants, homes, and other applications in between. Pellets are extremely dense and can be produced with a low moisture content (below 10%) that allows them to be burned with a very high combustion efficiency.” In other words, biomass is a business itself, it’s green and can even be more profitable than other types of investments.
With all the above mentioned, the key factor is having the entrepreneurial outlook as it is not a requirement to have a certain number of hectares of woodland or growing a specific crop or producing an innovative product; all that is necessary is to take advantage of the residues that are already being produced and see them as biomass, as a way of investing in a business that makes products out of everyone else’s waste.