The advantages of Biomass
1T of coal using current boiler technology prevalent in South African industries is able to produce on average about 7.5T to 8T of 10 bar steam (normal industrial operating pressure). This same tonne of coal will generate 2.86 Tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Conversely, the use of biomass can be described as carbon neutral as the carbon dioxide emitted during combustion or degradation is counterbalanced by the carbon dioxide absorbed when the plant in question was grown. The combustion of biomass is therefore exempt from any form of carbon tax. 1T of biomass at 30% moisture content is able to generate around 4T of 10 bar steam in the new advanced European boilers. Thus, 10 000T per month of biomass combusted in applicable biomass boiler plants is able to replace 5486 T of coal and prevent 15690 Tonnes of fossil fuel based CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere each month. This equates to an annual emissions reduction of just under 200 000T of CO2. As the amount of sites converting to biomass increases, this reduction in CO2 emissions directly improves.