Usually we burn wood and use its energy for heating. Burning, though,
is not the only way to convert biomass energy into a usable energy
source. There are four ways: Burning, Bacterial Decay,
We can burn biomass in special plants to produce steam for making
electricity, or we can burn it to provide heat for industries
on dead plants and animals, producing a gas called methane. This is
a natural process that happens whenever waste decays. Methane
is the same thing as natural gas, the gas
sold by natural gas utilities.
Adding a yeast to biomass produces an alcohol
called ethanol. This is how wine, beer, and liquor are made. Wine
is just fermented grape juice.
Biomass can be converted into gas or liquid fuels by using
chemicals or heat. In India, cow manure
is converted to methane gas to produce electricity.
Methane gas can also be converted to methanol, a liquid form of methane.