Utilising the heat energy in Biomass material is an age old practice. It started when we learned to harness fire to our benefit. Wood is the oldest and widest used fuel source and is still used worldwide to provide heat for a range of purposes. As we learned to use biomass to create a more efficient fuel we have developed a range of biofuels. This creation of biofuels using plant or animal matter that are converted into fibres or industrial chemicals has become the second biggest use of biomass today. Biofuels are classified into two main categories. As an example of biofuels such as bioethanol can be produced by first generation biofuels that are derived from sources such as sugarcane and corn starch.
The way that we burn biomass and the efficiency of the systems that harness its heat energy have evolved. Now we have highly efficient systems designed to heat whole properties through radiators and under floor heating systems; they can heat the water we use at the same time and provide heat for cooking. Modern boiler systems can be self-loading, incorporate climate control at the touch of a button and can self-ignite on a timing system much like a standard gas boiler. For more information on the history of biomass heating systems and their development through to the current day.