What is Biomass
Biomass is biologic non-fossil matter or the building material of all organisms; animals as well as plants. In the power industry the term biomass usually means plant material that is suitable for generation of electricity and heat.
The amount of energy conserved yearly in biomass is 5 times greater than the amount consumed (by our civilization) worldwide.
Video: Photosynthesis animated diagram
Origin of Biomass
The bonded chemical energy contained in biomass is in fact, conserved solar energy stored during the process of photosynthesis in the green parts of plants that contain chlorophyll. It is this carbon bond energy that can be used in power production.
In the process of photosynthesis, simple sugars are assembled from water, nutrients from the soil and airborne carbon dioxide. These are further processed into more complex sugars and finally proteins; the basic building blocks of living organisms. Since carbon, with its chemical bonds, is the basic building block of all living tissue, the energy stored in carbon compounds can later be utilized to generate power.
Chemical equation of photosynthesis:
6 CO2+12 H2O → (solar energy) → C6H1206 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O
Biomass categorization based on origin
We can categorize biomass into three types according to their origin:
one-year and more-years in existing plants
forest wood mass