Biologically Renewable Resources of Energy: Potentials, Progress and Barriers

  • Vasanthy MuthunarayananEmail author
  • Gueguim kana Evariste Bosco
  • Thamaraiselvi Chandran
  • Tamilselvi Duraisamy
  • Selvakumar Muniraj
  • Yeshona Sewsynker-Sukai
  • Preshanthan Moodley
  • Zanenhlanhla Gumbi


Concern about the climate change coupled with the increasing demand for fossil fuels makes us think and concentrate about the alternative energy resources which are renewable and clean. Biological resources for energy, also called biomass, include a range of materials originating from living matter. Biological resources were the first source of energy and materials used by man and remained the main one until the expansion of fossil fuels in the mid-nineteenth century. During 1970's, the increase in the petroleum price sparked a renewed interest in biomass as an alternative energy source possible, and several research and demonstration programmes commenced worldwide (Klass 1998) Biomass for renewable energy, fuels and chemicals, Academic Press, San Diego). Biomass has been widely recognized as an important energy source with high potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing environmental pollution. The most commonly used biofuels are bioethanol and biodiesel, which are normally produced using various methods (Zhu et al Sci Total Environ 408:914–21, 2010). Further, these biofuels serve as an important fuel substitute resulting in low harmful emissions (Huang et al. Appl Energy 87:38–46, 2010). Presently, biomass is being focussed as a high-potential renewable resource. Security and access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern sources of energy are the key concerns driving renewable energy deployment. This chapter focusses on the possibility, potential and barriers of utilizing biological energy resources in particular.


Biological energy resources Biomass Lignocellulose Sustainable development 



The authors from Bharathidasan University acknowledge the UGC-NON SAP, DST-FIST and UGC SAP for providing the necessary facilities in the department.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasanthy Muthunarayanan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gueguim kana Evariste Bosco
    • 2
  • Thamaraiselvi Chandran
    • 3
  • Tamilselvi Duraisamy
    • 1
  • Selvakumar Muniraj
    • 1
  • Yeshona Sewsynker-Sukai
    • 2
  • Preshanthan Moodley
    • 2
  • Zanenhlanhla Gumbi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Biotechnology, School of Environmental SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal, PMB CampusDurbanSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologyMother Teresa Woman’s UniversityKodaikanalIndia

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