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Gasification CO2 emissions are carbon neutral

Biomass is a form of stored solar energy – containing both water and carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere and converted through photosynthesis.  When the energy stored in biomass is converted to heat or fuels through gasification, the carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere.  An amazing advantage of this process is that its net carbon balance is almost zero!

Biomass fuels minimize green house gas emissions, whereas natural gas emits 10 times the carbon dioxide that biomass does and coal produces twice as much as natural gas!

Biomass provides a unique recycling opportunity for many waste streams.  The following materials can be converted into energy:

  • Wood and paper industry by-products
  • Agricultural residues after harvest (e.g., corn stover)
  • Manure
  • MSW


CO2 as a Carbon Neutral Fuel Source via Enhanced Biomass Gasification

Heidi C. Butterman and Marco J. Castaldi *

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (HKSM) Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, 927 S.W. Mudd, New York, N.Y. 10027

From: Tech

Sent: 13 February, 2013 01:54

To: ‘James Middleton’

Subject: RE: CTAlettPanelEAFeb2013

Just for your information, the McCusker article is a nice overview, but one mistake he makes is comparing the volume of CO2 produced by incineration processes with gasification processes. The mistake is that he treats the CO2 produced from each as equal, which is not the case.  CO2 emissions from coal are new volumes to be added to the atmosphere, whereas those from the gasification plant are recycled CO2 emissions. For this reason, CO2 from a gasification plant are considered to be carbon neutral.  Regarding our work with British Airways in the UK, it should be noted that BA is so pleased with our work that it has asked Solena to build three more biofuels plants—two in Spain and one more in the UK.

Best regards,


Garbage in – Power out

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