Biomass is an organic residue material obtained from both plants and animals, and is considered the most sustainable source of energy. A solid biomass is burned to produce heat energy or converted into liquid biofuels or biogases, which is further burned to produce fuel energy.
As a part of Earth’s carbon cycle, biomass coming from living plants and animals has the tendency to re-absorb the carbon deposits, which are released into the atmosphere while burning. This produces heat and can be used for any other form of energy.
Examples of biomass and their uses for energy are as follows:
- Wood and wood processing wastes: Used to produce electricity and is burned to produce heat energy in various industries
- Agricultural crops and waste materials: Used as a fuel or biofuel
- Food, yard, and wood waste in garbage: Burned to generate electricity in power plants
- Animal manure and human sewage: Converted to biogas and used as a fuel
Lastly, biomass offers other significant environmental benefits like protecting the quality of air, improving the forest health, and more.