Biomass Energy and Industrial Symbiosis: Examples of Circular Economy in Practice

The concept of circular economy has become more prominent recently as a way to achieve a sustainable future. The idea is to reduce waste and reuse resources as much as possible. One way to achieve circular economy is through industrial symbiosis, where different industries exchange resources and waste products to reduce their environmental footprint. Biomass energy is an example of circular economy in practice, where organic waste is used as a resource for clean energy production. In this article, we will explore the concept of biomass energy, industrial symbiosis, and how it is applied in real-life examples.

What is Biomass Energy?

Biomass energy is a type of renewable energy that is generated from organic matter such as plant materials, animal waste, and industrial waste. This form of energy is used for heating, electricity, and transportation fuel. Biomass energy is considered renewable because the waste used to generate energy is constantly replenished through natural processes.

Industrial Symbiosis

Industrial symbiosis is the process by which different industries collaborate to exchange resources or waste products in a mutually beneficial way. For example, one industry’s waste can become another industry’s raw material. This process helps to reduce waste, lower costs, and promote sustainable development.

Biomass Energy and Industrial Symbiosis in Practice

There are many examples of industrial symbiosis in practice, especially in the areas of biomass energy. Below are some real-life examples of how different industries are using organic waste to generate energy.

Dairy Farms and Biogas Production

Dairy farms produce a lot of organic waste in the form of manure. Instead of letting this waste go to waste, it can be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion. The biogas can then be used for heating or electricity production. This process can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a source of renewable energy for the farm.

Pulp and Paper Industry and District Heating

The pulp and paper industry produces a lot of waste in the form of wood chips and sludge. Instead of throwing away this waste, it can be used to generate heat through district heating. District heating is a system that provides heat to multiple buildings from a centralized source. The waste from the pulp and paper industry can be used as fuel for the district heating system, reducing the need for fossil fuels.

Waste Management and Biomass Energy

Waste management companies can play a crucial role in the circular economy by converting organic waste into energy. Landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, and converting the waste in them to biogas can help reduce these emissions. Additionally, the use of biogas can help reduce the use of fossil fuels in energy production.


Biomass energy and industrial symbiosis are excellent examples of how circular economy can be achieved in practice. By reducing waste and reusing resources, we can promote sustainable development and protect the environment. Through collaboration and innovation, we can create a circular economy that benefits everyone.

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