Bioenergy is a form of energy produced through combustion of recently living plant and animal matter. It is considered a renewable energy, due to the comparatively low timespan needed for feedstocks to be formed, and carbon neutral if used sustainably. Wood pellets, crops, manure, and food waste are the most common raw materials consumed. These solid fuels are also referred to as biomass, which is the oldest fuel type known to humankind.
Globally, China is the greatest producer of wood pellets. However, as most of it is consumed inland, it is not among the leading wood pellet exporting countries. Instead, the United States ranks first, having sold some 6.9 million metric tons abroad in 2019. Counting Russia, seven of the entries listed were European countries. Apart from South Korea and Japan, European countries are also the greatest importers of wood pellets. Made from sawdust shavings and other lumber product residue with low moisture content, wood pellets have a higher combustion efficiency than most other biofuels.
In addition to the above-mentioned types of solid fuels, municipal and industrial waste are a significant contributor to bioenergy worldwide. The utilization of waste for energy production has grown in importance as cities and other urban districts grapple with rising waste volumes. By 2024, the global waste-to-energy market value is projected to have reached 42.74 billion U.S. dollars.
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Research expert covering climate and environmental sustainability