3. Technologies for Production of Heat and Electricity

  1. Douglas L. Karlen
  1. Jacob J. Jacobson and
  2. Kara G. Cafferty

Published Online: 1 MAR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118676332.ch3

Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems

Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems

How to Cite

Jacobson, J. J. and Cafferty, K. G. (2014) Technologies for Production of Heat and Electricity, in Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems (ed D. L. Karlen), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118676332.ch3

Author Information

  1. Idaho National Laboratory, U.S.A.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAR 2014
  2. Published Print: 13 MAR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119991946

Online ISBN: 9781118676332



  • anaerobic digestion;
  • cellulosic energy;
  • combustion;
  • direct hydrothermal liquefaction;
  • electricity;
  • gasification;
  • heat;
  • integrated biorefineries;
  • pyrolysis;
  • repowering


Despite the variances among cellulosic sources, there are a variety of technologies for converting biomass into energy. Thermochemical conversion is more aptly used to create heat and electricity due to destruction of chemical bonds. The main thermochemical processes under which biomass can be converted into energy include: combustion, gasification, pyrolysis and hydrothermal liquefaction, while biochemical conversion technology includes anaerobic digestion process. Repowering can involve partial or total replacement of existing infrastructure. Within an integrated biorefinery, heat and electricity are produced through conversion technologies, then used to produce high-value products, recycled to aid conversion, or sold on the commercial market. The main benefit of using these technologies is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but there are still a number of challenges these technologies must overcome.