Biomass is biological material and used as a renewable energy sources. Thus, biomass includes plants (forest residues, wood chips, domestic waste, switch-grass, hemp, corn, sorghum, sugarcane, eucalyptus & palm) and microbial sources (mushroom compost, bacterial cells & yeast cells as single cell protein) which can easily used as bio-fuel to generate heat and energy by direct combustion. Bio-diesel, liquid bio-fuel and cellulosic ethanol can be produced from left-over vegetable oils and animal fats which are still under research. Hence, these can be used to produce heat and electricity by using various industrially used conversion technologies. Microorganisms are allowed to grow on agro-waste products to produce a large amount of cell bodies as single cell proteins within one day which are protein rich and used as excellent human supplements.
Advantage of biomass production:
1) Microorganisms have rapid rate of multiplication (algae: 2-6 hours, yeast: 1-3 hours, bacteria: 0.5-2 hours) with consistent quality. They can be easily genetically mutated for amino acid composition which in turn has high protein content up to 43-85 % of dry mass. They can use as broad spectrum of raw materials as carbon sources for removal of soil and water too.
2) Mushroom cultivation is best example of algal cultivation as cash crop whose harvested fruiting bodies are sold in local markets for human consumption. Moreover, transfer and expression of beneficial genes in the microbes (genes of S. cerevisiae into Chlamydomonas reinhardii) have revolution for the production of algal proteins and other compounds to be used in food and animal feed. Biomass production of cyanobacteria e.g. Spirulina sp. is done as their spiral filaments as floating algal mats on the surface of water because of gas filled vacuoles in their cells through which these fix the atmospheric nitrogen. Algal mats are filtered and suspension of Spirulina is dried with hot air to get fine powder for further consumption and industrial uses.
3) Biofertilizers are alone eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides which contain living microorganisms (Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Blue Green Algae and Azolla) when inoculated with seeds, plant surfaces, or soil, colonizes the rhizosphere of the plant lead to promote the plants growth by increasing the availability of primary nutrients.
About Author / Additional Info:
Dr. Kirti Rani,
Assistant Professor (II),
Amity Institute of Biotechnology,
Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Noida,
Sec-125, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Noida-201303 (UP), India.
Off. Phone no: +120-4392946
Mobile no: +9990329492
Email ID: email@example.com, kirtisharma2k@rediffmail.