Biomass technology is a renewable way to use organic matter to generate heat, power, or be converted into processed fuels or chemicals. The Colorado Renewable Energy Society states that Colorado has a fair biomass potential. They say that 5.2 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity could be generated using renewable biomass fuels in Colorado. Wood is the most commonly used biomass fuel. Urban and mill residues such as wood from construction sites, right of way trimmings, and discarded wood products and crates and mulch are common biomass recycle fuels. Dead wood such as the timber available in Colorado's beleaguered pine-bark-beetle-kill areas would be great sources for biomass fuel. Agricultural biomass includes organic crop-harvest mulch such as corn husks, wheat straw, and orchard trimmings. While these materials are not plentiful in Colorado, there is still a small but potentially growing market.
Pictured right: Chips and pellets of biomass.
Recently, ConocoPhillips purchased the 32-acre former StorageTek corporate campus in Louisville. They plan to use the facility to become the state's largest research facility for biofuels made from crops and non-petroleum feedstocks. The company plans to develop liquid fuels made from renewable sources. It is scheduled to open in 2012.
For more information on Biomass in Colorado, visit the Governor's Energy Office's website Recharge Colorado