Biomass: environmentally friendly but potential health hazard

Biomasses are material of organic origin (animal or vegetal), that have not undergone a fossilization process. Generally, they are waste from the agricultural, forestry, livestock and agri-food industrial sectors, that are used as fuel to generate thermal and electrical energy.

In this context, the coexistence between environment and health does not find an easy solution, even if at a first sight, you wouldn’t think so. On one side, biomass combustion does not represent a danger for environmental pollution, in fact it is included among the renewable sources thanks to its low impact if compared to that of fossil fuels. The amount of CO2 released into the air during the combustion process is the same to that absorbed by the plant during its growth and this factor is positive for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

However, as in most things, it is essential also to consider the other side of the coin: in fact, if on one side this process is sustainable in environmental terms, on the other it represents a danger for people’s health.

Woody biomass (woodworking waste, pellets, wood chips..) are the most common and used for the production of thermal energy, but also for the production of electricity in thermoelectric and cogeneration plants. As mentioned before, biomass combustion, while respecting the environment in terms of CO2 emissions, releases significant amount of particulate invisible to the human eye. We are talking about PM (particulate matter), a set of materials present in the air that is particularly dangerous because, being very thin, it is able to penetrate the human body reaching the lungs. According to the exposure to which a person is undergo, different health problems can arise, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

For this reason, it is important to do not take for granted that biomass are renewable sources from every point of view, starting to face the problem of pollution they generate before the situation gets worse.

The only way to minimize the harmful effects of combustion is to equip your plant with a fume filtration system installed after the burner. Whatever the type of biomass combustion and whatever the aim of this, Tama Aernova provides specific solutions for the costumer, allowing a coexistence between production needs and health safeguard.

Discover all the solutions Tama Aernova for air filtration and find the best system for your needs!