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Biomass energy is produced using agricultural and forestry waste materials or specially cultivated energy crops. It has the potential to cover a large proportion of global energy demands. The technical and economic future of bioenergy is bright and the sector is set to expand considerably in the future.
Using biomass to generate energy has a number of benefits. It preserves increasingly scarce fossil fuels and does not release any more carbon dioxide than the plants initially absorbed. It is a flexible energy source that can be supplied as a solid, liquid or gaseous raw material and can be used to generate heat and electricity and as a replacement for conventional fuels.
Technical gases play a crucial role in converting biomass. They support chemical processes, refine products and reduce hazards:
In biomass-to-liquids (BTL) processes, oxygen is used for gasification, nitrogen for inerting and hydrogen for hydration
In the production of biodiesel, nitrogen is used for inerting and tank recirculation
In the production of biogas, oxygen is used for desulphurisation and nitrogen for inerting and preparing the network supply.
Our engineering team supplies industrial gases and is involved in a number of promising projects including a recently agreed partnership with Südchemie to produce second-generation biofuel from waste straw.
In Leuna, we are currently installing a demonstration plant to generate "green" hydrogen from glycerine, a by-product of biodiesel production.