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Power Stations

What is Biomass?

Biomass is a renewable energy source.
It comes from
biological organisms which were recently alive.
Examples are wood, alcohol and waste materials.

A fossil fuel comes from material
which has been dead for a long long time.
A biofuel comes from biomass
which has been dead for only a short time.
A biofuel can be solid, liquid or gas.
Examples are woodchip, biodiesel, alcohol (ethanol)
and methane (from anaerobic bacteria).

How does a Wood Burning Power Station Generate Electricity?

A wood burning power station works in the
same way as a power station which burns fossil fuel.

The original source of the energy is the Sun.
Growing trees use sunlight energy for photosynthesis.

What are the Advantages of Wood Burning?

1.  It is renewable.
Trees can be grown at the same rate as they are burnt.

2.  It is reliable.

3.  Although burning wood produces carbon dioxide,
it does not contribute to global warming.
This is because the growing trees take in carbon dioxide
for photosynthesis at the same rate that
the power station emits carbon dioxide during burning.

What are the Disadvantages of Wood Burning?

1.  Wood burning produces sulfur dioxide
which causes acid rain.

2.  A large area is needed to grow enough trees to
keep the power station running. The land could
be used for other purposes, for example growing food.

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