Bamboos have become one of the most favorable sources of renewable energy in many South-East Asian countries like Thailand. There are more than 1,000 species of bamboo and some works better as renewable energy source than others. Gimsung and Tong bamboo are the 2 main species to produce best energy value because of their biological and chemical properties.
Author Aiden Korr explains why bamboos should be used as alternative source of energy.
#1 Biological and chemical composition
The Gimsung and the Tong bamboo have 6% to 15% moisture, 3% or more Ash, 65% to 70% of volatile matter, 20% of fixed carbon, and higher heating value. This means they could be a great source of energy that can be easily harvested. The government of Thailand has already invested in generating electricity from bamboo as a part of their 15-Year Renewable Energy Development Plan.
#2 Bamboo grows really quick
Gimsung and Tong bamboo can grow as much as 30cm a day, even if there is no rain. If watered well, they can grow much faster.
#3 CO2 Absorption
Any plant that has a good CO2 absorption counts as a good source to be used in biomass power plants. A 1year-old bamboo shoot can absorb up to 50kg of CO2 (~burning 21 liters of petrol). The absorption increases as they grow older. A 5 year-old shoot can absorb up to 600kg of CO2 (~burning 256 liters of petrol).
#4 O2 Production
Greater amount of CO2 absorption also means greater Oxygen production. Bamboo can create oxygen much faster than many trees can.
#5 Alternative to fire wood
Bamboo charcoal is quickly substituting firewood in many underdeveloped countries. The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) based in China, along with many African countries are working together to make bamboo an alternative energy source to firewood.