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Biomass heaters could heat homes, cut CO2

charcoal-combustion-heaterJapanese researchers say they’ve developed a new type of biomass-fueled heater (PDF) that could provide high-efficiency, sustainable heating to millions of homes across Asia.

Many people in the Far East currently heat their homes using charcoal burned on small, hibachi-style grills — not the most efficient means of providing heat. Even the more advanced improved biomass stoves used in some place in the US and Turkey deliver a thermal efficiency of only 46 to 54 percent.

The biomass charcoal heater proposed by researchers Masayuki Horio, Amit Suri and their team, on the other hand, offers a thermal efficiency of 60 to 81 percent for waste biomass charcoal, and 65 to 86 percent for wood charcoal.

Using biomass energy in such heaters on a mass scale could help reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the researchers say.

“In the case of Japan, about 67% of Japan’s land area is covered with forests, and biomass is the single most abundantly available renewable energy source that can be used on demand,” the team writes. “Wood biomass combustion/gasification can thus play a significant role in the domestic electricity supply by following load changes.”

They add, “In Japan, about 28% of the total energy consumed is utilized for domestic usage, of which about 50% is used in hot water supply and space heating. By replacing only 5% of this heating energy, we can obtain a CO2 reduction effect of about 4.46 million tons of CO2/year.”

1 Comment

  • Aamod
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    But how about geo thermal heaters ?? they are as good as bio mass heaters. They involve heating of water in pipes with the help of heat from the earth. Thus cutting Co2

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