Torrefaction produces a substance that can be burned like coal.
Biomass that's been through a torrefaction process could do the same duty as coal, with far less water use and less pollution.
Enviva’s wood pellet plant in Ahoskie, NC.
Deriving fuel from trees costs more than wind and solar power and it emits more carbon than coal. There are many heated debates about this kind of energy, known as forest or woody biomass.
The legacy of the dirtiest of fuels – coal – has the potential to deliver a low carbon energy future.
Cypress swamp near Mandeville, Louisiana.
A new report calls U.S. forests an undervalued asset for slowing climate change. It warns that they are being degraded by logging for wood, paper and fuel, particularly in the Southeast.
AJP / shutterstock
Farmers are setting fire to their straw and spreading air pollution across northern India.
Wind turbines require massive structures that are polluting to produce and can harm ecosystems, but these impacts compare favorably with those of fossil alternatives.
No energy source is perfect, but solar and wind have a much lower health and environmental footprint than fossil fuels, a study finds. Biopower, though, is a mixed bag.
Papyrus can alleviate pressures on native forest ecosystems.
The capacity of woody biomass to provide the energy requirements for sub-Saharan Africa is declining. Papyrus wetlands are a sustainable source of biomass that holds potential to substitute for wood.
Farmers were supposed to bet big on energy crops like short-rotation willow to help fuel the UK's biomass fleet. It hasn't worked out like that.
Drax, the UK’s largest power station, burns coal and wood.
It's not the ideal renewable energy but biomass is a better bet than coal.
3C(O)CH 2CH 2CO 2H? Eureka!
Levulinic acid is derived from plants and can be used to make everything from pharmaceuticals to plastics.
An ancient form of energy: a wood pellet manufacturing facility in upstate New York.
The future of two key energy policies – the EPA's Clean Power Plan and Renewable Fuel Standard – will decide whether bioenergy will continue to grow in US or not.
Save the rainforests? A new study shows mangroves matter too, as they can store three to five times more carbon than rainforests.
Daniel Murdiyarso for Center for International Forestry Research
Indonesia is ranked among the world's top dozen contributors to climate change – but a new study shows that protecting the country's mangroves could slash its greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t tread on woodchips.
Rick Kimpel/Wikimedia Commons
The outcry over the government's plan to allow wood burning from native forests under the revamped Renewable Energy Target belies the fact that woodchips can be useful and sustainable if harvested responsibly.
Martijn van Sabben
Europe's demand for biomass is putting new demands on US forests, raising questions over how working forests can operate sustainably.
An international team of marine scientists has calculated that the global biomass of fish is 30 times more than previously…
Deforested tropical rainforests have been found to replenish their carbon faster than their rich biodiversity. Research conducted…
A study into the role of gut bacteria in termite stomachs has given surprising, but hopeful, results. Researchers at Purdue…