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Biomass is an organic material produced from living or recently living organisms that can be used as a source of energy. Lignocelluloses biomasses are plants or plant based materials that are not used for feeding or food. As an energy source biomass can either be used directly, through combustion producing heat or indirectly once converted into many forms of bio fuel. There are many methods for converting biomass into bio fuels which are usually classified by the various categories; thermal, chemical and biochemical methods.
Biomass-derived energy has been harnessed ever since humans first began to burn wood to create fires. Today, biomass is also the only fuel source for domestic use in many developing countries. Biomass is solely a biologically produced matter based in carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The estimated amount of biomass produced is around 104.9 petagrams of carbon a year. Wood is one of the largest source of biomass. Examples of these are forest residues, yard clippings, wood chips and also municipal solid waste. Harvested wood can be used directly as a fuel or are composed from wood waste systems. Pulping liquor or ‘black liquor’ a waste product from processes of the pulp, paper and paperboard industry is the largest source of wood. Biomass also includes plant or animal matter that can be combusted to use for energy. Industrial biomass can be grown from various types of grown plants, like miscanthus, switchgrass, hep corn and various others.
Biomass over the years has become an increasingly popular source for energy within the UK. Electricity generation from bio-energy sources went up by 25% from 2-13 to 2014. Bio-energy also led to the largest possible increase in total electricity generation from the renewable sources within 2014. As production grew from 4,543 GWh to 22,792 GWh, it was mainly due to the increase in biomass generation. Bio-energy’s use or renewable heat generation increased by around 4 and half times between the years 2005 and 2014.
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