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About Biomass Energy


Bioenergy, which is produced from the biomass derived from animals and plants, is advantageous in terms of addressing the high price of oil since it can be produced as the oil for transportation besides thermal energy and electricity.

The CO₂ emission effects due to the use of bioenergy is not a big issue because carbon dioxide is consumed through the photosynthesis of plants, which are bioenergy production sources; in this extent, the international society acknowledges that bioenergy can be used for coping against global warming.

Increasing effects regarding the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere due to the use of bioenergy is lower compared to those of other renewable energy resources. Also there is no exhaustion problem of resources unlike fossil energy such as oil and coal because biomass plants are grown and produced consistently.
In addition to that, there is no weak point as biomass is very close to agriculture since the resources for bio-energy production within and outside the country are agricultural crops (e.g. rapeseed, corn, beans, etc.) or agricultural by-products (e.g. thinning-out tree, rice straw, rice hulls, etc.) as well as organic waste (e.g. food waste, livestock manure, etc.).

However, the supply of bioenergy should consider the increase of social overhead costs and ensure energy security. To address this issue, the United States, EU, Japan and other developed countries provide active support policy to increase the supply of bioenergy.
As a result, global bioenergy supply is highly vitalized and is expected to be increased continuously in the future.

Type of biomass energy technologies

There are many types of biomass since it refers to all materials that can be rotted down, but the plant is the root of biomass.
For this reason, it is classified into two types: first, as a kind of sugar and starch (e.g. sugar cane, sweet potato, corn, bean, etc.) which can be used for food, and second, as a kind of cellulose (e.g. wood, rice straw, etc.) which cannot be used for food depending on its property.
Therefore, each of the biomass energy technologies is applied depending on its properties.
Therefore, each of the biomass energy technologies is applied depending on its property.

Major types of biomass energy and uses

Introduction to Research Methods Resources

Form a research method of biomass resources (decision of evaluation index)
Estimate the production of biomass resources based on the statistics collected by each government agency periodically
Calculate the amount of resources by analysis variables (vegetation, cultivation distribution, distribution of related business and utilization)
Estimate of the resources conversion factor and make statistics
Estimate of the potential resources and available resources

Domestic Status

Biomass is the most frequently used energy source worldwide until the 19th century when wood was the main source of energy.
The energy derived from biomass constitutes 10% of the global energy consumption.
Biomass includes wood, crops, vegetation, crop residues, etc.
The plasmodium of vegetable oils for biodiesel is primarily extracted from rapeseed, bean, sunflower seed, and coconut.
Biodiesel used as automotive fuel is made by a mixture of 2% of biodiesel and diesel. .

Renewable energy supply plan by the 3rdgeneralplan

(Unit: kTOE, %)

Source 2008 2010 2015 2020 2030 08~30
Annual Growth Rate
Bio 518 (8.1) 987 (13.0) 2,210 (18.8) 4,211 (24.0) 10,357 (31.4) (14.6)

Korea Energy Management Corporation - New & Renewable Energy 2010

Technology Development Status

  • From 2008 to 2010, about 263 billion won is used to develop the fuel production technologies for transportation and biogas conversion technologies.
  • Biofuel production technologies are classified into biodiesel production technologies, bioethanol production technologies, and other biofuels (biobutanol, biohydrogen, etc.) production technologies. Biofuel production technologies using seaweed and byproducts of palm for transportation have been developing since 2010.
  • Production and utilization technologies of organic waste have been consistently supported from the past, and the development of technology for securing its applicability into various fields is currently supported. In 2010, localization of biogas storage and pre-processing facility technologies has been started, and the empirical study on liquefaction and bio-reactor is completed.
  • Ligneous biomass utilization technologies mainly consist of solid fuel production technologies and gasification technologies using wood chip and pellet. The development of pellet production technologies for the manufacture of highly efficient pellet has been started, and the empirical study on gasification of lignocellulosic fuel will be completed.
  • Government has plans to provide additional support for the commercialization development of technologies by company based on the currently developed technologies and to promote market entry by ensuring the reliability of system through the link with development result and empirical study.

Renewable energy supply portion of the total electricity production by the 2nd general plan

(Unit: MWh)

Source 2008 2010 2015 2020 2030
Ligneous Biomass - 62,306 166,396 1,146,446 2,628,920
Biogas 294 3,449 31,372 64,222 161,129

Korea Energy Management Corporation - New & Renewable Energy 2010

Specific plans (Promotion of strategic technology development)

Source Key areas General areas in the short-term Future areas in the long-term
Biomass Improve the economic feasibility of biodiesel Collection, processing, and utilization technologies of ligneous biomass raw material Collection and utilization technology of next-generation organic materials

Korea Energy Management Corporation - New & Renewable Energy 2010

  • Key areas : Key areas: Priority areas of considering urgency, technology influence, marketability, need for budget execution.
  • General areas in the short-term : Predictable main technical areas after five to ten years
  • Future areas in the long-term : Blue ocean areas in the long-term

The amounts of potential

Korea’s total theoretical potential of biomass energy is 141,855 kTOE and available potential is 14,742 kTOE/year, equivalent to 10.4% of the theoretical potential.
Biomass resources, which are available with the existing infra and technology, are 2,912 kTOE/year, equivalent to 2.1% of the natural resources.