Biomass energy consumption increased by 60% in US: EIA reports

18 March 2014 (Last Updated March 18th, 2014 18:30)

A report released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has shown that biomass energy consumption in the country has increased by more than 60% from 2002 to 2013.

A report released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has shown that biomass energy consumption in the country has increased by more than 60% from 2002 to 2013.

EIA noted that the gradual increase in the production of biofuels including ethanol, biodiesel and other biomass-based diesel fuels have resulted in the rise of biomass energy consumption in US.

According to the report, biomass accounted for around half of all renewable energy consumed and 5% of total energy consumed in the country in 2013.

In the US, the biomass energy sources comprise wood including wood-derived fuels such as charcoal and byproducts of paper production; waste including municipal solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste and agricultural byproducts; and organic raw material inputs or feedstocks.

The report revealed that from 2002 to 2013, the gradual increase in the production of ethanol and biodiesel has speed-up the conversion of biomass energy to biofuels in the US.

Approximately 60% of the energy in feedstocks is converted to deliverable biofuels, while the remainder becomes energy losses or coproducts that are measured as energy consumed by the industrial sector, according to the EIA study.

"Biomass accounted for around half of all renewable energy consumed and 5% of total energy consumed in the country in 2013."

The study also noted that most biofuels are used as blended transportation fuels, while some biodiesel is consumed as heating oil.

Further, the EIA study showed a 4% increase in the consumption of wood and waste energy in US as increases in the consumption of waste energy exceeded increases in wood use.

Around two-thirds of wood energy is used for industrial processes.

In the US, biofuel feedstocks mainly comprise agricultural crops and other plant material, animal byproducts as well as recycled waste, and among them corn is the feedstock for nearly all of the ethanol produced in the nation.

Usage of soybean oil to produce biodiesel accounted for more than 50% in 2013, while recycled waste including cooking oil waste , accounted for a little more than 10% in 2013.

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