What is Biomass?
Biomass in simplest terms is material from plants or animals that can be used to produce energy. It is easily the oldest form of renewable resources in use by humans today. Types of biomass include plants, wood, grass, animal waste, landfill waste, and sewer waste. Typically, biomass is accessed through burning these materials, but much energy is lost during the process and there are environmental concerns to be aware of.
Bomass can be mixed into coal during the burning process to cut down on pollution in a process called Co-Firing. Plant oils can be chemically processed into fuels, and biomass materials can be liquified and turned into fuels or gasses in thermochemical processing. Biomass energy can also be accessed in sewage and waste treatment plants through Biochemical processing.
Biomass still acounts for a small portion of worldwide energy use, but it is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources and has a promising outlook on the future.
U.S. Department of Energy
Federal Coordinating Groups