There are many different routes and end products in the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. The feasibility of the different conversion options depend on external factors such as location and available technology.
The technologies can be grouped into four main categories:
- Biochemical Conversion involves the use of enzymes or chemicals to break down the biomass for further conversion and processing to ethanol.
- Biomass can also be converted using heat or heat and pressure to breakdown the material in Thermochemical Conversion.
- Combustion is also used to obtain heat and power.
- Integrated biorefineries employ various combinations of feedstocks and conversion technologies to produce a variety of products, with the main focus on producing biofuels as well as side products such as chemicals (or other materials) and/or heat and power.