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For energy and fuel production only the power-exploitable biomass can be used (energy biomass, sometimes just biomass). Biomass can be described as accumulated solar radiation, though with low efficiency, but with almost zero losses during long-term accumulation.
According to Annex No. 1 to Decree No 482/2005 Coll., on the determination of biomass types, methods of use and parameters in supporting the generation of electric energy from biomass, as amended, biomass is divided into three main types:
Agricultural biomass – phytomass grown on agricultural land;
Forest biomass – dendromass, and
Residual biomass - by-products of agriculture and manufacturing industry
By the way of energy conversion (According to Annex No. 1 to Decree No 482/2005 Coll., Group 1 and 2) the following can be made use of:
Agricultural biomass is the most complex component of biomass potential of the Czech Republic. Use of phytomass grown on agricultural land supports the restructuring of our agriculture during the transition from food commodities to alternative technical or energy crops.
Another positive effect of growing alternative crops is that it ensures energy self-sufficiency of the rural areas, targeted regional consumption of generated sources of funding, as well as increased attractiveness of municipal communities.
The benefits of production can only be used after mastering the difficult logistics and a large number and variety of processing technologies.
Forest biomass (according to Decree No 482/2005 Coll. - Group 3) is formed by:
Since time immemorial Czech forests are mostly economically utilized in accordance with the following basic principles - consistently sustainable management and protection of nature and the living environment. The permanent objective of forestry professionals is to capture the "safe" energy potential of forest biomass.
Current calculations of the potential of forest biomass is based, due to environmental and economic reasons, only on the value of toll revenues, which determine that 20% of forest biomass be preserved on the mined area. The calculations exclude protective forests and production forests, which grow in unsuitable and especially poor habitats.
Use of mining residues should mainly focus on production forests (according to the Forest Act No. 289/1995 Coll.). Under certain conditions it is possible to use wood material from some specific forests (i.e. some military, spa, and water forests), while safeguarding their priority functions.
When using the forest biomass it is essential to consider the high handling and transport requirements, as well as the availability of local resources. Despite that forest biofuel market already exists in our country; however, it is far from established.
Residual biomass (see Decree No 482/2005 Coll., Group 4 and 5) is an essential part of the potential of energy biomass. It is formed by residues, by-products and waste from the primary sources of vegetable or animal biomass.
The principal amount of residual biomass is derived from wood processing industry and pulp and paper industry. As well as of meat industry, other food and spirits industry and municipal waste sorting. Another component is the residual biomass of both crop and livestock production, i.e. straw and excrements of breeding animals. As a separate group we may include sewage sludge and the sludge from specific productions, if they are classified as biomass.
Increasing biomass production requires expansion of the production areas or intensification of biomass production. Large financial investments are therefore inevitable, whose return may initially be risky, since at present the production of energy from biomass has difficulty competing economically with the traditional combustion of conventional fuels.
The use of biomass resources in terms of distances and location of sources and energy consumers also remains an issue. This causes complications with the accumulation, transport, and distribution of procured energy.
Material use includes the use of all the residual and purposefully grown biomass as a raw material for industrial production of:
One of the future ways how to clarify the situation and mitigate the risks of using biomass is to adopt good environmental legislation. The Biomass Action Plan, that has already been adopted, has contributed to the consolidation of the view as to how to exploit the potential of biomass in the Czech Republic. The emphasis is being put on mutual coordination of different strategies and plans in individual sectors in which biomass is used namely in connection with the needs of food safety and sustainable development principles.
Non-energy use of biomass will grow in importance, depending on market demand, because in this industry subsidies or incentives are not usual. While there is mainly wood and residual wood biomass currently being processed, the share of agricultural biomass is bound to increase in the future.
In the long run it is necessary to maintain and expand the existing scope of industrial production based on biomass, especially in the paper industry and construction materials industry.
In the future it is important to monitor the trends in the use of biomass with higher added value and seek the prospective and strategically important areas. Then they should be promoted through scientific research projects with an emphasis on applied research as well as the involvement of universities along with industrial and agricultural entities.