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Biomass and Alternate Fuel Systems, reviewed by Biomass Energy Foundation’s Reed

By Chemical Engineering |

Biomass and Alternate Fuel Systems: An Engineering and Economic Guide. Edited by Thomas F. McGowan. John Wiley and Sons Inc. 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. Web: http://www.wiley.com. 2009. 264 pages. $89.95 Reviewed by Thomas B. Reed, The Biomass Energy Foundation, Franktown, Colo. Biomass and wood are sleepers in the alternate energy field. While wind and sun provide transient sources of energy, the Earth is covered with biomass, continually storing energy as a fuel that can be converted to heat, power or liquid fuels with the right chemical process technology. The agriculture and forestry industries guarantee a continuing supply of available waste biomass. The scientific and engineering community knows how, in principle, to convert biomass to heat, power and fuel, but ongoing work is needed to identify the most practical and economic routes for such conversions. For the past two decades, the authors have developed pilot- and commercial-scale biomass-conversion processes. After an overview covering the uses, properties and potential of biomass for fuel and energy, the authors detail the processes of acquiring, burning, gasifying and converting biomass to heat, power and fuels. Later chapters examine practical questions on competing…
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