November 27th U.S. Energy Information Administration Report: Biomass/Waste Fuels Constitute Two Percent of 2016 U.S. Electricity Generation

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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A November 27th United States Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) report notes that biomass and waste fuels constituted 2% of the total United States electricity generation in 2016.

Biomass and waste fuels are stated to have generated 71.4 billion kilowatthours of electricity in 2016.

Biomass fuels are defined as all non-fossil, carbon-based (biogenic) energy sources. Biomass includes tire-derived fuels, agriculture by-products, other biomass solids, other waste, wood waste liquids, sludge waste, and other biomass liquids.

Waste fuels are defined as all other non-biogenic wastes.

Wood solids are stated to have accounted for nearly one-third of the electricity generated from biomass and waste. Such wood solids are stated to have primarily originate from one of three sources:

  • Logging and mill residues
  • Wood, paper and furniture manufacturing
  • Discarded large timber products (railway ties, utility poles, and marine pilings)

The EIA report also describes fuels that are byproducts of chemically processing wood such as wood-derived fuels (i.e., black liquor, sludge waste, wood-waste liquids, etc.) and municipal solid waste (i.e., derived from landfills and non-biogenic sources such as plastics).

Other biogenic fuels include those derived from wastewater treatment plants, byproducts of production of ethanol, and field crop residues and animal excretions.

Also noted is the largest non-biogenic waste fuel denominated as tire-derived fuel.

A copy of the EIA report can be downloaded here.

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