- Environmental benefits


In all Lifecycle Assessments (LCA) and emission accounting guidelines, biomass combustion is considered a carbon neutral process. 


Through photosynthesis, biomass absorbs and stores CO2 directly from the air during its growth, which is released back into the atmosphere when combusted.

The resulting carbon dioxide is absorbed again by plant growth thereby completing this carbon neutral cycle.





The environmental benefits of biomass become more evident when taking into account the actual practices used in biogenic waste management. Biomass power plants divert waste from landfills, and from even more unsustainable practices widespread in Greece such as open burning of agricultural waste. 



Besides CO2, all other emissions are effectively handled by highly advanced treatment systems which are integrated in all modern biomass power plants. 

Depending on the characteristics of each biomass fuel, a combination of several different flue gas treatment options (electrostatic precipitator, multicyclone, bagfilters, non-catalytic selective reduction system) is employed in order to effectively control all types of emissions resulting from the combustion process.

For more info on VAS' flue gas treatment technology click here     



When using agricultural waste as fuel, biomass power plants in essence turn an environmental liability into an asset, while replacing electricity which would otherwise be produced by fossil fuels. 

The environmental benefits for each MW of installed biomass capacity in the context of the Greek energy system, are quantified in the table below.


 Avoided CO2 emissions and Environmental equivalents per MWel of biomass capacity 


 CO2 avoided per year 1  Carbon sequestered by forest   CO2 emissions from barrels of oil consumed 2   Wind equivalent 3   Solar equivalent 
  8,322 tons  27,603 stremmata  19,353 tons  3.4 MW  5.6 MW


1. PPC lignite stations emit app. 1 ton of CO2 per MWh
2. Calculation using: US EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator 
3. Wind capacity factor 28%
4. Solar capacity factor 17%


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