Biomass is the organic matter in trees, agricultural crops and other living plant material. It is made up of carbohydrates – organic compounds that are formed in growing plants. Biomass is solar energy stored in organic matter.
As trees and plants grow, the process of photosynthesis uses energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates (sugars, starches and cellulose). Carbohydrates are the organic compounds that make up biomass. When plants die, the process of decay releases the energy stored in carbohydrates and discharges carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
The use of biomass for energy causes no net increase in carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere because as trees and plants grow, they remove carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Using biomass to produce energy is often a way to dispose of waste materials that otherwise would create environmental risks – such as forest fires.
Altri is present in the biomass renewable energy business through a joint venture company, EDP Bioeléctica (50% owned by Altri and 50% owned by EDP). Currently the company has four power plants in operation - Mortágua, Ródão (Celtejo mill), Constância (Caima mill) and Figueira da Foz (Celbi mill) - producing a total 62 MW of electric power.
Biomass power plants location