Biomass experiment tips
The Biomass Experiment gives students an understanding of how biomass from landfills can be used as an energy source. When students compare the two bags of beans they will see how the beans in the closed bag will have produced gas. This gas is similar to the methane gas created by decomposing waste.
Make sure that one bag is tightly sealed and the other remains open throughout the week.
Getting It Across
Explain that biomass energy comes from organic matter, such as agricultural and animal wastes, or from methane gas produced from decay in landfills. Like fossil fuels, biomass can be burned to create energy in the form of electricity, heat, steam, and fuels. It can also be converted to methane gas and used for fuel. The process taking place inside the sealed bag is anaerobic digestion, which has methane gas as one of its by-products, so it resembles a form of biomass energy. If this bag were at a biomass power plant, the odorous gas inside the bag would be used to heat water into steam to turn a turbine!
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