What Is Biomass Energy?

Biomass fuel is waste plant matter used to generate electricity, via steam turbines or gasifiers, or heat, through direct combustion.

What are its advantages?

It’s a Renewable Resource
Biomass is a renewable, theoretically inexhaustible fuel source: abundant worldwide as forest or agricultural waste.

Minimizes Carbon Dioxide and Other Emissions
Although burning biomass releases as much carbon dioxide as burning fossil fuels—unlike fossil fuels, biomass absorbs essentially the same amount of carbon when it’s grown as will later be emitted through combustion. Burning biomass also produces comparatively less pollution than does burning fossil fuels, including sulfur—a contributor to acid rain.

Reduces Landfill Use
Using waste materials as fuel can help reduce landfill disposal and groundwater pollution and their associated costs to communities. Additionally, ash and other residue from biomass fuel can add value to agricultural soil.

Costs Less than Fossil Fuels
Because it is locally sourced, biomass contributes to energy independence and is more cost-effective to acquire and deliver than fossil fuels, which often travel long distances and consume energy to ship.

Contributes to Sustainable Lifestyles
By selling agricultural waste to biomass plant operators, farmers and planters can increase their income per acre. Biomass fuels can even be purpose-farmed on unused agricultural land or by replanting deforested areas, creating jobs in rural communities.