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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Global biomass fuel resources

Parikka, M


An overview of biomass for production of densified biofuels on a global scale is given. Bioenergy production as heat, electricity, and liquid fuels represents about 14% of the World's primary energy supply. About 25% of the usage is in industrialised countries and the other 75% is used in developing countries. There is an estimated 3870 (10(6)) ha of forest worldwide. The average area of forest and wooded land per inhabitant varies between 6.6 ha in Oceania, 0.2 ha in Asia, and 1.4 ha in Europe. The world's total above-ground biomass in forests amounts to 420 (10(9)) tonnes, of which more than 40% is located in South America. Estimates by FAO (2000) show that global production and use of woodfuel and roundwood reached about 3300 (10(6)) m(3) in 1999. About 55% is used directly as fuel, e.g. as split firewood, and about 90% of this is produced and consumed in the developing countries. The remaining 45% is used as industrial raw material, but about 40% of this is used as primary or secondary process residues, suitable only for energy production. The total sustainable worldwide biomass energy potential is about 100 EJ/a (the share of woody biomass is 41.6 EJ/a), which is about 30% of total global energy consumption today. About 40 EJ/a of available biomass is used for energy. Nearly 60% of this biomass is used only in Asia. A comparison between the available potential with current use shows that on a worldwide level about two-fifths of the existing biomass potential is used, and in most areas of the world the current biomass use is clearly below the available potential. Only in Asia does the current use exceed the available potential. Therefore, an increased biomass use is possible, e.g. for production of densified biofuels, in most countries. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Biomass and Bioenergy
2004, Volume: 27, number: 6, pages: 613-620

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Renewable Bioenergy Research

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