There are three common technologies that are used to extract energy from biomass, which is known as bioenergy. Take a moment to explore the options and how they work.
Direct combustion: burning biomass, such as wood, to produce heat.
This heat can be used directly (to heat a building) or to produce steam to drive a turbine which generates electricity. Both heat and electricity can be used in combination (cogeneration) to maximise efficiency.
When processing sugar, the leftover sugarcane fibre known as ‘bagasse’, fuels the boilers in the sugar mills, which produces steam to generate electricity.
At the same time, sugar mills capture the heat directly from the burning bagasse and use it to help process the sugar.1 Around two thirds of Australia’s bioenergy is sourced from sugarcane waste (bagasse).2 This video shows how sugarcane is used to produce gas for electricity generation.