Guyana Could Grow Biomass Crops for Energy

Biomass fuel pellets can be economically produced from waste products of existing sawmills (sawdust and offcuts), rice mills (rice husks and rice straw), cane sugar mills (bagasse), coconut oil mills (coir and oilcake) and other agro-processing factories. Where such materials are not locally available at scale, it is profitable, in suitable locations, to grow special crops for direct conversion into biofuel pellets for local use or for export.

Such crops already adapted in other tropical countries, viz. Bamboo, Kenaf, Hemp, Miscanthus, Arundo donax etc, make economic use of poor soils in areas of uncertain rainfall. This class of plants can be cultivated to yield higher tons per acre per year of useful crop than many food crops which require fertilizer and irrigation.

Parts of some of these plants are valuable for animal feed, but when they are farmed primarily for energy use, cultivation and processing are carbon neutral: no more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere than the plants have withdrawn. On burning, less carbon dioxide is emitted than that which the origin plants have converted through photosynthesis.



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