A bit of history: biomass

Fire, unquestionably the most important discovery in the history of mankind, was discovered thanks to the accidental combustion of wood. Fire has illuminated, heated, protected and fed mankind for thousands of years. Briefly, fired fostered the birth of civilisation.
Wood, on the other hand, remained the most widely used raw material for many centuries, not only to burn fires, but also as building material. The invention of the steam engine allowed mankind to obtain mechanic energy from the combustion of wood, whereas up to the 18th century wind and water where the only mechanic energy sources available, thanks to wind and water mills.
During the Industrial Revolution wood started to become scarce owing to the massive deforestation carried out to produce energy. Mankind had to look for alternative energy sources and found them in coal and oil, which at the time were abundant albeit not renewable.
Only recently, energy need and the possible disappearance of fossil fuels and the pollution produced by the combustion led man to “re-discover” the usefulness of wood and biomass as energy sources.

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From the Multimedia section

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    Energy production from biomass

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    Sunflowers

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    Number of bioenergy plants by region in Italy in 2016

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    energy

    Italy: bioenergy production by category in 2016

    Look
  • energy

    Italy: capacity of bioenergy plants by category (2016)

    Look

    energy

    Italy: number of bioenergy plants by category in 2016

    Look
  • energy

    Italy: evolution of bioenergy plants

    Look

    energy

    Ethanol and biodiesel global production

    Look
  • energy

    Number of bioenergy plants by region in Italy in 2016

    Look
  • energy

    Italy: bioenergy production by category in 2016

    Look
  • energy

    Italy: capacity of bioenergy plants by category (2016)

    Look

Facts

  • Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...

    Phyto-depuration

    A very interesting project has been carried out by Lombardy region...

    Peat and peat-bogs

    The age of coal starts towards the mid 1600s, stimulated by the need for finding an alternative energy source to…

  • Hydrogen from the sugar cane

    The Centro di Ricerca Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (CIRPS) carried out a study in Peru...

    Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

    Where does energy come from?

    Every day the Earth receives enough solar energy to satisfy the global energy need...

  • Electricity and electrons

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    ITER fusion reactor

    The reactor that will be able to produce electronuclear energy without risk of explosion or radioactive waste...

    Geographical distribution of energy

    Every day the Earth receives enough solar energy to satisfy the global energy need. Unfortunately we cannot exploit all this…

  • 16 May 2011

    Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...

    Phyto-depuration

    A very interesting project has been carried out by Lombardy region...

  • 2 March 2011

    Peat and peat-bogs

    The age of coal starts towards the mid 1600s, stimulated by the need for finding an alternative energy source to…

    16 May 2011

    Hydrogen from the sugar cane

    The Centro di Ricerca Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (CIRPS) carried out a study in Peru...

  • 14 June 2011

    Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

    2 March 2011

    Where does energy come from?

    Every day the Earth receives enough solar energy to satisfy the global energy need...

  • 16 May 2011

    Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...

  • Phyto-depuration

    A very interesting project has been carried out by Lombardy region...

  • 2 March 2011

    Peat and peat-bogs

    The age of coal starts towards the mid 1600s, stimulated by the need for finding an alternative energy source to…