Without fuel, this world wouldn’t be what it is today. All the scientific and technological advancements that have made life more comfortable and convenient have been a direct or indirect result of using fuel. However, the flip-side of this progress has been the adverse impact on the climate and the dwindling amount of fuel reserves left in the form of fossil fuels.
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Natural gas is the most widely used fossil fuel in the entire world. It is the ideal source of energy for cooking, generation of electricity, heating, and also as a fuel for vehicles.
Natural gas is the safest and cleanest fossil fuel. But being a fossil fuel, it is non-renewable. So, regardless of how the world is using it, it will ultimately get depleted.
Natural gas is also a significant contributor of greenhouse gas as it is primarily composed of methane. So, in addition to methane, every emission of natural gas is also leading to a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As such, though natural gas is a clean and safe fossil fuel, there is no carbon offset with natural gas.
Countries all over the world still rely significantly on natural gas for their energy needs, and this reliance will also keep increasing for decades to come. But, nations also understand the importance of using renewable sources of energy such as biomass.
Biomass is a renewable fuel produced from organic materials such as waste from farming, horticulture, food processing, animal farming, and also includes human waste.
The fourth largest source of energy after oil, coal, and natural gas is biomass. Over the past many years, developed and developing countries have been expanding their knowledge and technology in biomass and its usage.
Because of the adverse impact on the climate and environment coupled with the rapidly dwindling fossil fuel reserves, there is a gradual shift to renewable sources of energy. Among the renewable sources of energy, biomass resources are abundant.
Biomass as a source of energy
Biomass is a raw organic material that can be processed to generate electrical energy, chemical energy, and heat energy. The energy produced from biomass is clean and causes less pollution compared to natural gas.
So, why is biomass a better alternative to natural gas? Following are the reasons why biomass is considered a better alternative –
Renewable source of energy
As already stated above, natural gas is continuously depleting with constant use. Though there are still a good number of fossil fuel reserves for production of natural gas, it will eventually run out, which is indeed a scary thought. Once there are fewer reserves of natural gas, it will create chaos all over the world. Issues from price rise to political wars are easily foreseeable.
On the other hand, biomass is a renewable source of energy. Since organic sources are used to produce biomass, there is no possibility of it getting depleted even with continuous use as there is a constant process of re-growth. Therefore, there is an immediate need to balance the use of natural gas with biomass.
One of the most potent fuels that is causing severe damage to the environment is natural gas. Not only is it polluting and damaging the environment, but its emission is also causing climate imbalance. The methane released from the emission of natural gas is one of the primary reasons for global warming.
Even though the use of biomass also releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, they are only from the organic sources. The carbon that is released is capable of being absorbed by the plants and trees which are then taken in by animals. There is, thus, a continuous carbon cycle when it comes to the production of biomass. Therefore, the question why is biomass a better alternative to natural gas is answered by how it offsets the carbon content in the atmosphere.
Natural gas reserves are not found everywhere in the world. There are only specific locations where they occur. This has resulted in laying down millions of miles of pipelines to transport natural gas from one country to another. Thus, this leads to an increase in the price of natural gas.
Biomass, on the other hand, is widely available all over the world. Just like the solar, wind, and hydro energy that is found everywhere over the entire world, there is an abundant amount of biomass. No country lack in biomass and each can develop technologies to harness the real potential of biomass. Thus, the answer to the question why is biomass a better alternative to natural gas lies in the fact that they are available in large scale in all the countries.
The price of natural gas differs from country to country depending on its source. Also, the extraction, processing, and production of natural gas are also expensive requiring heavy machinery and lots of drilling. This gives a type of monopoly to those countries over the price of natural gas.
Biomass production does not involve heavy capital expenditure when compared to natural gas. This makes it an attractive avenue for producers and manufacturers to get their hands to generate biomass energy. Ultimately, consumers pay less. Though at present the efficiency of biomass hasn’t been entirely taken advantage of, the potential is enormous. Therefore, the question why is biomass a better alternative to natural gas is fortified by its potentiality to be a less burden on consumers’ wallets.
Natural gas, as its name suggests, is only available in gaseous form. Biomass, on the other hand, can be found and processed into liquid and gaseous forms like methane
gas, ethanol, biodiesel, biofuel, and biogas. As biomass is a product of organic waste, there could still be more conversion process which one can tap with advancement in technology. Therefore, the question why is biomass a better alternative to natural gas lies in its versatile properties which one can harness to its full potential with scientific advancement.
With every passing day, the world is starting to accept biomass as a better alternative to natural gas. Though natural gas may be the present, biomass is undoubtedly the future.