Revised November 2021
Biomass is commonly cited as a renewable energy source. The term also is used by biologists and ecologists to describe living and dead carbon-based biological material that is part of the environment’s carbon cycle. Biomass is the renewable, living and recently dead plant matter whose cellulose, sugars and proteins can be directly combusted; or biologically, physically or chemically changed into an industrial chemical or fuel.
Organic matter can be farmed or collected for biomass crops. This can be as simple as collecting corn, soy or wheat stalks, or collecting yard waste or industrial or recycled wood waste. It can be as complex as creating specialized aquatic environments for the production of algae or higher aquatic plants.