July 31, 2014, 2:19 pm
What is Biomass? PDF Print E-mail

CImage_36Biomass is the term used for the biological material from living or recently living organisms such as wood, waste materials, gases and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter that is specifically grown in order to produce electricity or to produce heat.

The composition of biomass is carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen and small quantities of other atoms, including alkali, alkaline earth  and heavy metals can also be found. Biomass is the building block or 'feedstock' for many other fuels.

Biomass excludes organic materials  such as fossil fuels which have been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal  or petroleum. This is because 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.