Definition of biomass

Definition of biomass

Biomass in its purest sense refers to either plant material or animal waste that is used for fuel. In an alternative energy sense this refers to the material that is used in some production facilities in order to generate power (generally through the process of burning it) or the base products that are used in processing plants to extract refined fuel from that can be applied to a number of applications, such as the usage of corn as biomass for ethanol production.

Biomass should not be confused for biofuel, however, as biofuel such as ethanol that is mentioned above is a product from the processing of biomass and not actual biomass itself. Biomass refers to the raw material that is used for processing in the creation of biofuel and as a raw energy source. Biofuels that are created from the processing of biomass are in a separate category and are used in different applications and for different purposes than raw biomass alone.

Biomass is also described as a “carbon neutral fuel” due to the fact that although it produces carbon dioxide when being used as a fuel source the biomass itself (commonly plans that are specialized crops designed to act as biomass fuel) uses carbon dioxide during its growing process and therefore neutralizes the emissions from its burning. Don’t mistake this for zero or positive emissions results as neutral fuels such as biomass could easily have their balance upset in a number of ways, such as through heavy deforestation or the removal of other organic carbon dioxide using organisms, and as a result carbon emissions should be closely monitored in order to ensure that the carbon emission and carbon absorption equilibrium in an area is maintained in order to show ideal results from biomass fuel consumption and allow biomass fuel usage to maintain its carbon neutral status.

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