Farming for Energy

Discover what energy is and where it comes from.

Discover what energy is and where it comes from.

  • No tags were found...

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.







Discover what ENERGY is and where it comes from.

comes in many forms and can accomplish a

variety of tasks. Energy is the power to do work.

is when energy is transferred to or from

an object using the application of force.


is a substance that stores energy.

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

give p ower to vehicles


p owers lights

Natural Gas

is used as fuel for a hot w ater heater


is b urned in a grill to p roduce heat

What is



Energy sources can be classified as renewable or nonrenewable.


resources can be replaced

or renewed as they are used or consumed.

Examples include natural resources like sun or

wind as well as products produced on farms.


resources cannot

be replaced or renewed in our lifetime.

Once the resource is gone, it is gone


Energy cannot be created or destroyed.

To make energy useful, it is converted from one form to another.



Solar panels collect energy

from the sun and then

convert it from light energy

to heat and electrical energy.

Plants collect and store

energy from the sun through

photosynthesis. Plants store

the energy until it can be

burned or converted to a

biogas and burned as a fuel.

The food we eat has a store

of energy. It is not useful to

our body until it is converted

from chemical energy into

mechanical energy through

the process of digestion.

Source of


Fuels that can be easily made or replenished;

we can never use up renewable fuels.



Fuels that cannot be easily made or replenished;

we can use up nonrenewable fuels.


Anything that is alive, or anything that was alive a short

time go is called biomass. Trees, crops, garbage, and animal

waste are all biomass. Most of the biomass we use for

energy today is wood.


Coal was formed millions to hundreds of millions of years

ago from plants. Coal is often shiny, black rock. Coal is a

fossil fuel that we burn for energy.


Geothermal energy is heat from inside the Earth. The inside

of the Earth is very hot. Sometimes this heat comes near the

surface. We can use this heat to warm our houses. We can

generate electricity with it.


Natural gas is a mixture of gases you cannot see, smell, or

taste. We often add an odor to it so we can smell it. It has a

lot of energy in it. You can burn it to make heat. Natural gas

is a fossil fuel.


Hydropower is energy created by moving water. Moving

water has a lot of energy. We use that energy to generate



Petroleum is liquid that is found underground. Sometimes

we call it oil. Oil can be as thick and black as tar or as thin as

water. Petroleum is a fossil fuel that has a lot of energy we

release when we burn it.


The sun provides lots of energy to the Earth. We call it solar

energy. It travels from the sun to the Earth in rays. The

energy from the sun makes rain fall, wind blow, and plants



Propane is the gas we use to fuel our backyard grills and

operate machines in warehouses. You cannot see, smell, or

taste it, but you can burn it to produce heat energy. Propane

is fossil fuel.


Wind is moving air. We can use the energy in wind to do



Uranium is a mineral found in rocks in the ground. We split

uranium atoms to release energy in nuclear power plants.



produce ENERGY


Most of the energy we utilize comes directly from natural resources found in the earth.

Nonrenewable energy sources like fossil fuels can’t be ‘farmed,’ they are mined from the earth.

Renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, water, and geothermal energy aren’t technically

‘farmed’ either—humans don’t have the ability to create them. However, we can harvest or collect

each of these sources of energy. That leaves us with biomass—the only source of energy that can

actually be produced on a farm.

Wood is probably the oldest source of

energy after the sun. For thousands of

years, people have burned wood to heat

their homes and cook their food. Wood is

a biomass because it comes from a tree—

which was once living. Energy was passed

from the sun, to the tree. The energy

is stored in the wood until it is burned,

releasing the energy as heat.


How Does Biomass Energy Work?

Converting biomass to useable forms

of energy reduces greenhouse gas

emissions in two ways. First, heat and

electrical energy is generated which

reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.

Second, greenhouse gas emissions

from the organic material itself are

significantly reduced. Rather than

allowing methane emissions from the

decaying biomass into the atmosphere,

they are trapped and converted to a

useable form of energy.

Sources of

Biomass Energy

Agricultural Crops & Residues

Straws, stems, stalks, leaves, and husks

that are leftover after a food crop is

harvested and processed.


Similar to animal waste, energy can

be extracted from sewage using

anaerobic digestion to produce


Forestry Crops & Residues

Pulp or timber leftover after trees are

harvested from plantations or forests.



Municipal Solid Waste

Millions of tons of household waste

are collected each year and placed in


Industrial Residues

Waste materials from food processing

facilities or meat processing plants.

Fruit and vegetable peelings and

leftover scraps are examples.

Animal Residues

Animal manure can be converted to

biogas using anaerobic digestion.

See how Michigan State University is generating

electricity from their food waste and animal manure


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!