Tao, Bernard Y. School of Agriculture and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Pyrolysis and gasification
- Biodiesel fuel
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Organic materials or wastes produced by plants and animals that can be used as energy sources or fuels. Biomass is a collective term used to describe renewable materials that are derived from plants and animals. In some cases, microbial metabolic wastes are also considered biomass. Typically, biomass is intended to refer to materials that do not directly go into foods or consumer products, but may have alternative industrial uses. Common sources of biomass are (1) agricultural wastes, including corn stalks, straw, seed hulls, sugarcane leavings, bagasse, nutshells, and manure from cattle, poultry, and hogs; (2) wood materials (Fig. 1), such as wood or bark, sawdust, timber slash, and mill scrap; (3) municipal waste, such as waste paper and yard clippings; and (4) energy crops, including poplars, willows, switchgrass, alfalfa, prairie bluestem, corn (starch), and soybean (oil). See also: Agricultural science (plant); Biochemical engineering; Biological productivity; Biosynthesis; Biotechnology; Wood anatomy; Wood chemicals; Wood processing
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