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Author: Dr Kelvin Klemm

( Article Type: Explanation )

Biomass is a term used to denote large quantities of biological material, usually in a dead state, that can be used for some useful purpose. For example, the burning of wood or grass is a case of ‘burning biomass to produce heat’.

Biomass can also be processed to obtain certain chemicals, such as extracting vitamins or useful oils, from the biological material. The term biomass is usually reserved for waste material left over from some other activity. For example, leaves and branches left over after trees have been harvested, or sugarcane after the sucrose-bearing liquid has been squeezed out of it, is biomass.

The use of biomass for some useful purpose is seen as a positive move towards recycling and towards promoting sustainable development.