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Simple use of biomass fuel (Combustion of wood for heat).
Simple use of biomass fuel (Combustion of wood for heat).
Renewable energy
Wind Turbine
Hydro power
Solar power
Tidal power
Wave power
Wind power

Biomass refers to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production. Most commonly, biomass refers to plant matter grown for use as biofuel, but it also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibres, chemicals or heat. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel. It excludes organic material which has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,024 × 768 pixels, file size: 167 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)A small fire in a backyard fire pit. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,024 × 768 pixels, file size: 167 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)A small fire in a backyard fire pit. ... Firewood, stacked to dry Bags of firewood logged from the Barmah Forest in Victoria Wood fuel is wood used as fuel. ... Renewable energy effectively utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. ... Bio-energy redirects here. ... The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant in Iceland Geothermal power (from the Greek words geo, meaning earth, and thermal, meaning heat) is energy generated by heat stored beneath the Earths surface or the collection of absorbed heat in the atmosphere and oceans. ... Hydroelectricity is electricity produced by hydropower. ... The Solar Two 10 MW solar power facility, showing the power tower (left) surrounded by the sun-tracking mirrors. ... Tidal power, sometimes called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into electricity or other useful forms of power. ... Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work - including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). ... An example of a wind turbine. ... Biological material may refer to: Biological tissue, or just tissue Biomass, living or dead biological matter, often plants grown as fuel Biomass (ecology), the total mass of living biological matter Biomolecule, a chemical compound that naturally occurs in living organisms Biotic material, from living things Bio-based material, a processed... Bio-energy redirects here. ... A chemical substance is any material substance used in or obtained by a process in chemistry: A chemical compound is a substance consisting of two or more chemical elements that are chemically combined in fixed proportions. ... Biodegradable waste is a type of waste, typically originating from plant or animal sources, which may be broken down by other living organisms. ... Organic material or organic matter is informally used to denote a material that originated as a living organism; most such materials contain carbon and are capable of decay. ... Metamorphism can be defined as the solid state recrystallisation of pre-existing rocks due to changes in heat and/or pressure and/or introduction of fluids i. ... Coal Example chemical structure of coal Coal is a fossil fuel formed in ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... Petro redirects here. ...

Biomass is grown from several plants, including miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow, sugarcane [1], and oil palm (palm oil). The particular plant used is usually not very important to the end products, but it does affect the processing of the raw material. Production of biomass is a growing industry as interest in sustainable fuel sources is growing.[citation needed] Species See text. ... Binomial name L. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a warm season grass and is one of the dominant species of the central North American tallgrass prairie. ... U.S. Marihuana production permit. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... This article is about woody plants of the genus Populus. ... Species About 350, including: Salix acutifolia - Violet Willow Salix alaxensis - Alaska Willow Salix alba - White Willow Salix alpina - Alpine Willow Salix amygdaloides - Peachleaf Willow Salix arbuscula - Mountain Willow Salix arbusculoides - Littletree Willow Salix arctica - Arctic Willow Salix atrocinerea Salix aurita - Eared Willow Salix babylonica - Peking Willow Salix bakko Salix barrattiana... Species Saccharum arundinaceum Saccharum bengalense Saccharum edule Saccharum officinarum Saccharum procerum Saccharum ravennae Saccharum robustum Saccharum sinense Saccharum spontaneum Sugarcane or Sugar cane (Saccharum) is a genus of 6 to 37 species (depending on taxonomic interpretation) of tall perennial grasses (family Poaceae, tribe Andropogoneae), native to warm temperate to tropical... Species Elaeis guineensis Elaeis oleifera The oil palms (Elaeis) coomprise two species of the Arecaceae, or palm family. ... Palm oil from Ghana with its natural dark color visible, 2 litres Palm oil block showing the lighter color that results from boiling. ...

Although fossil fuels have their origin in ancient biomass, they are not considered biomass by the generally accepted definition because they contain carbon that has been "out" of the carbon cycle for a very long time. Their combustion therefore disturbs the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fossil source fuels, that is, hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the earth’s crust. ...

Plastics from biomass, like some recently developed to dissolve in seawater, are made the same way as petroleum-based plastics, are actually cheaper to manufacture and meet or exceed most performance standards. But they lack the same water resistance or longevity as conventional plastics.[2]


Processing and uses

Biomass which is not simply burned as fuel may be processed in other ways such as corn.

Low tech processes include:[3]

More high-tech processes are: Composting is the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter, producing compost. ... Anaerobic digestion component of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany, 2007 Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. ... Fermentation in progress Fermentation typically refers to the conversion of sugar to alcohol using yeast. ... Laboratory distillation set-up: 1: Heat source 2: Still pot 3: Still head 4: Thermometer/Boiling point temperature 5: Condenser 6: Cooling water in 7: Cooling water out 8: Distillate/receiving flask 9: Vacuum/gas inlet 10: Still receiver 11: Heat control 12: Stirrer speed control 13: Stirrer/heat plate... Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. ...

Burning biomass, or the fuel products produced from it, may be used for heat or electricity production. Simple sketch of pyrolysis chemistry Pyrolysis usually means the chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of oxygen or any other reagents, except possibly steam. ... Look up char in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Methane is a chemical compound with the molecular formula . ... This article is about a chemical compound. ... Hydrogenation is a class of chemical reactions which result an addition of hydrogen (H2) usually to unsaturated organic compounds. ... Carbon monoxide, with the chemical formula CO, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. ... Destructive Distillation means driving off (and collecting) gas from some matter by heating it in the absence of air, where pyrolysis occurs during heating. ... Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, is a chemical compound with chemical formula CH3OH. It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colourless, flammable, poisonous liquid that is used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethyl alcohol. ...

Other uses of biomass, besides fuel and compost include:

  • Building materials
  • Biodegradable plastics and paper (using cellulose fibres)

Environmental impact

Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon from the atmosphere is converted into biological matter by photosynthesis. On death or combustion the carbon goes back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). This happens over a relatively short timescale and plant matter used as a fuel can be constantly replaced by planting for new growth. Therefore a reasonably stable level of atmospheric carbon results from its use as a fuel. It is accepted that the amount of carbon stored in dry wood is approximately 50% by weight.[4] For the thermonuclear reaction involving carbon that helps power stars, see CNO cycle. ... Photosynthesis splits water to liberate O2 and fixes CO2 into sugar The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ... Carbon dioxide (chemical formula: ) is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ...

Though biomass is a renewable fuel, and is sometimes called a "carbon neutral" fuel, its use can still contribute to global warming. This happens when the natural carbon equilibrium is disturbed; for example by deforestation or urbanization of green sites. When biomass is used as a fuel, as a replacement for fossil fuels, it still puts the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. However, when biomass is used for energy production it is widely considered carbon neutral, or a net reducer of greenhouse gasses because of the offset of methane that would have otherwise entered the atmosphere. The carbon in biomass material, which makes up approximately fifty percent of its dry-matter content, is already part of the atmospheric carbon cycle. Biomass absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere during its growing lifetime. After its life, the carbon in biomass recycles to the atmosphere as a mixture of CO2 and methane (CH4), depending on the ultimate fate of the biomass material. CH4 converts to CO2 in the atmosphere, completing the cycle. In contrast to biomass carbon, the carbon in fossil fuels is locked away in geological storage forever, unless extracted. The use of fossil fuels removes carbon from long-term storage, and adds it to the stock of carbon in the atmospheric cycle. Renewable energy (sources) or RES capture their energy from existing flows of energy, from on-going natural processes, such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological processes, and geothermal heat flows. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ... Methane is a chemical compound with the molecular formula . ...

Energy produced from biomass residues displaces the production of an equivalent amount of energy from fossil fuels, leaving the fossil carbon in storage. It also shifts the composition of the recycled carbon emissions associated with the disposal of the biomass residues from a mixture of CO2 and CH4, to almost exclusively CO2. In the absence of energy production applications, biomass residue carbon would be recycled to the atmosphere through some combination of rotting (biodegradation) and opening burning. Rotting produces a mixture of up to fifty percent CH4, while open burning produces five to ten percent CH4. Controlled combustion in a power plant converts virtually all of the carbon in the biomass to CO2. Because CH4 is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, shifting CH4 emissions to CO2 by converting biomass residues to energy significantly reduces the greenhouse warming potential of the recycled carbon associated with other fates or disposal of the biomass residues.

The existing commercial biomass power generating industry in the United States, which consists of approximately 1,700 MW (megawatts) of operating capacity actively supplying power to the grid, produces about 0.5 percent of the U.S. electricity supply. This level of biomass power generation avoids approximately 11 million tons per year of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. It also avoids approximately two million tons per year of CH4 emissions from the biomass residues that, in the absence of energy production, would otherwise be disposed of by burial (in landfills, in disposal piles, or by the plowing under of agricultural residues), by spreading, and by open burning. The avoided CH4 emissions associated with biomass energy production have a greenhouse warming potential that is more than 20 times greater than that of the avoided fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. Biomass power production is at least five times more effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions than any other greenhouse-gas-neutral power-production technology, such as other renewables and nuclear. [5]

Currently, the New Hope Power Partnership, owned by Florida Crystals Corporation, is the largest biomass cogeneration energy facility in the U.S. The 140 MWH facility recycles sugar cane fiber and urban wood waste, generating enough electricity to power its large milling and refining operations as well as renewable electricity for more than 40,000 homes. The facility reduces dependence on approximately 800,000 barrels of oil per year and by recycling sugar cane and wood waste, preserves landfill space in urban communities in Florida.


Despite harvesting, biomass crops may sequester (trap) carbon. So for example soil organic carbon has been observed to be greater in switchgrass stands than in cultivated cropland soil, especially at depths below 12 inches.[9] The grass sequesters the carbon in its increased root biomass. But the perennial grass may need to be allowed to grow for several years before increases are measurable.[10]

Biomass production for human use and consumption

This is a list of estimated biomass for human use and consumption. It does not include biomass which is not harvested or utilised. For the eco-industrial use of the term, which includes dead material used for biofuels, see biomass An Antarctic krill, whose species comprises roughly 0. ...

Biome Ecosystem Type Area Mean Net Primary Production World Primary Production Mean biomass World biomass Minimum replacement rate
(million km²) (gram dryC / m² / year) (billion tonnes / year) (kg dryC / m²) (billion tonnes) (years)
Tropical rain forest 17.00 2,200.00 37.40 45.00 765.00 20.50
Tropical monsoon forest 7.50 1,600.00 12.00 35.00 262.50 21.88
Temperate evergreen forest 5.00 1,320.00 6.60 35.00 175.00 26.52
Temperate deciduous forest 7.00 1,200.00 8.40 30.00 210.00 25.00
Boreal forest 12.00 800.00 9.60 20.00 240.00 25.00
Mediterranean open forest 2.80 750.00 2.10 18.00 50.40 24.00
Desert and semidesert scrub 18.00 90.00 1.62 0.70 12.60 7.78
Extreme desert, rock, sand or ice sheets 24.00 3.00 0.07 0.02 0.48 6.67
Cultivated land 14.00 650.00 9.10 1.00 14.00 1.54
Swamp and marsh 2.00 2,000.00 4.00 15.00 30.00 7.50
Lakes and streams 2.00 250.00 0.50 0.02 0.04 0.08
Total continental 149.00 774.51 115.40 12.57 1,873.42 16.23
Open ocean 332.00 125.00 41.50 0.003 1.00 0.02
Upwelling zones 0.40 500.00 0.20 0.02 0.01 0.04
Continental shelf 26.60 360.00 9.58 0.01 0.27 0.03
Algal beds and reefs 0.60 2,500.00 1.50 2.00 1.20 0.80
Estuaries & mangroves 1.40 1,500.00 2.10 1.00 1.40 0.67
Total marine 361.00 152.01 54.88 0.01 3.87 0.07
Grand total 510.00 333.87 170.28 3.68 1,877.29 11.02

Source: Whittaker, R. H.; Likens, G. E. (1975). "The Biosphere and Man", in Leith, H. & Whittaker, R. H.: Primary Productivity of the Biosphere. Springer-Verlag, 305-328. ISBN 0-3870-7083-4. ; Ecological Studies Vol 14 (Berlin) Darci and Taylre are biomass specialists. A biome is a climatically and geographically defined area of ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, often referred to as ecosystems. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... ... For other uses, see Monsoon (disambiguation). ... Evergreen forest are the forest with trees that retain green foliage all year round. ... The Temperate deciduous forest is a biome found in the eastern United States, Canada, southern South America, Europe, China, Japan, North Korea and parts of Russia. ... Taiga (SAMPA /taIg@/, from Russian тайга́) is a biome characterized by its coniferous forests. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... This article is about a community of trees. ... This article is about arid terrain. ... A Semi-arid climate or steppe climate generally describes climatic regions that receive low annual rainfall (250-500 mm or 10-20 in). ... Scrubland is plant community characterized by scrub vegetation. ... This article is about arid terrain. ... This article is about the sand formations, for other meanings see Dune (disambiguation) Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by eolian (wind-related) processes. ... An ice sheet is a mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 square kilometers (12 million acres). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... Butchers Creek, Omeo, Victoria A stream, brook, beck, burn or creek, is a body of water with a detectable current, confined within a bed and banks. ... Scale diagram of the layers of the pelagic zone. ... Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water. ...  Sediment  Rock  Mantle  The global continental shelf, highlighted in cyan The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain, which is covered during interglacial periods such as the current epoch by relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs. ... For other uses, see Reef (disambiguation). ... For other meanings, see Estuary (disambiguation) Río de la Plata estuary An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. ... Above and below water view at the edge of the mangal Mangroves are woody trees or shrubs that grow in mangrove habitats or mangal (Hogarth, 1999). ... Robert Whittaker (1920-1980) was an American vegetation ecologist, active in the 1950s through the 1970s. ... Gene Likens is an American ecologist and a leading pioneer in the study of acid rain. ...

See also

Anaerobic digestion component of Lübeck mechanical biological treatment plant in Germany, 2007 Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. ... Bioenergy is renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources. ... Bio-energy redirects here. ... For the eco-industrial use of the term, which includes dead material used for biofuels, see biomass An Antarctic krill, whose species comprises roughly 0. ... Biomass gasification, a century old technology, is viewed today as an alternative to conventional fuel. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Biomass to liquid (BTL) is a (multi step) process to produce liquid fuels out of biomass: It mainly aims at using the whole plant to improve the CO2 balance and the costs. ... Bioplastics are a form of plastics derived from plant sources such as hemp oil, soy bean oil and corn starch rather than traditional plastics which are derived from petroleum. ... A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and value-added chemicals from biomass. ... Corn kernels are readily available in bulk throughout corn producing areas. ... An energy crop is a plant domesticated for use in agriculture and is produced as a low cost and low maintenance harvest (generally, non food crops) to be used to make biofuels or directly exploited for its energy content. ... Microgeneration is the generation of zero or low-carbon heat and power by individuals, small businesses and communities to meet their own needs. ... A standing crop is the quantity or total weight or energy content of the organisms which are in a particular location at a particular time. ... Thermal mass, in the most general sense, is any mass that absorbs and holds heat. ... Firewood, stacked to dry Bags of firewood logged from the Barmah Forest in Victoria Wood fuel is wood used as fuel. ... The World Council for Renewable Energy defends, develops, and promotes policies on the multinational, governmental, regional and individual levels in favour of the wise and prudent use of natural and renewable forms of energy. ...


  1. ^ T.A. Volk, L.P. Abrahamson, E.H. White, E. Neuhauser, E. Gray, C. Demeter, C. Lindsey, J. Jarnefeld, D.J. Aneshansley, R. Pellerin and S. Edick (October 15-19, 2000). "Developing a Willow Biomass Crop Enterprise for Bioenergy and Bioproducts in the United States". Proceedings of Bioenergy 2000, Adam's Mark Hotel, Buffalo, New York, USA: North East Regional Biomass Program. OCLC 45275154. Retrieved on 2006-12-16. 
  2. ^ Oh, Chicken Feathers! How to Reduce Plastic Waste. Yahoo News, Apr 5, 2007.
  3. ^ Introduction to Renewable Energy Technology. 1996. John Sakalauskas. Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE / Open Training Services.
  4. ^ Forest volume-to-biomass models and estimates of mass for live and standing dead trees of U.S. forests
  5. ^ USA Biomass Power Producers Alliance
  6. ^ How False Solutions to Climate Change Will Worsen Global Warming
  7. ^ Biofuel crops may worsen global warming: study
  8. ^ Biodiesel Will Not Drive Down Global Warming
  9. ^ Soil Carbon under Switchgrass Stands and Cultivated Cropland (Interpretive Summary and Technical Abstract). USDA Agricultural Research Service, April 1, 2005
  10. ^ Carbon sequestration by switchgrass. Abstract for Thesis (PhD). AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Source DAI-B 60/05, p. 1937, Nov 1999

The Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas Adams Mark is a chain of 23 upscale hotels in the United States. ... Nickname: Location of Buffalo in New York State Coordinates: , Country State County Erie First Settled 1789 Founded 1801 Incorporated (City) 1832 Government  - Mayor Byron Brown (D) Area  - City 52. ... The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) was founded in 1967 and originally named the Ohio College Library Center. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... April 5 is the 95th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (96th in leap years). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...

External links

Sustainable development Portal
Energy Portal
  • What is Biomass? - Växjö University
  • Biomass as an Energy Source - Växjö University
  • Everything Biomass
  • Michigan Biomass Energy Program
  • BioMASS Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Forest Bioenergy
  • Texas State Cons. of Energy Office Biomass Article
  • Kentucky fc
  • Biomass on Hydrogenews
  • Renewable Products Development Laboratories (RPDL)
  • European Biomass Industry Association (EUBIA)
  • European Biomass Conference & Exhibition.
Image File history File links Sustainable_development. ... Image File history File links Portal. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Renewable Energy - Biomass including wood, MSW, and biofuels, carbon cycle, photosynthesis (1414 words)
Biomass is organic material made from plants and animals.
Biomass fuels also have a number of environmental benefits.
Biomass continues to be a major source of energy in much of the developing world.
  More results at FactBites »



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