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What is the difference between coal and biomass?

Answer : Both coal and biomass are energy sources, however they have several key differences.

Origin : Coal is a fossil fuel that originated from the remains of ancient plants and animals over millions of years. Contrarily, biomass is derived from recently or currently living organisms, such as plants, crops, and waste products.

Composition : Carbon makes up the majority of coal’s chemical makeup, with trace amounts of sulphur, nitrogen, and other components. Contrarily, biomass includes a variety of organic substances such cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and carbohydrates.

Renewable vs. Non-renewable : Coal is a non-renewable resource, which means that once it is used up, there is no way to refill it. The ability to be regrown, replanted, or reused without depleting finite resources makes biomass, in contrast, a renewable resource.

Greenhouse gas emissions : Burning coal contributes to climate change by releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the environment. Burning biomass also produces carbon dioxide, but because the carbon released during burning was recently taken from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, biomass is regarded as a carbon-neutral source of energy.

Environmental impact : Significant environmental effects from the extraction, transportation, and burning of coal may include air and water pollution, land degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions. If biomass is not generated and used sustainably, it may also have negative effects on the environment, including as deforestation, soil erosion, and competition for land with food crops. Yet, biomass can also improve the environment by lowering trash and landfill emissions and supplying habitat for wildlife.

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