Get to Know about Biomass Energy

When was biomass energy discovered? 

Biomass has been in use since people first began burning wood to cook food and keep warm. The use of biofuels such as ethanol has been around for some time as well. It was used as lamp fuel in the United States in the 1800s.  

Biomass is a renewable source of fuel to produce energy because: 

  • waste residues will always exist – in terms of scrap wood, mill residuals and forest resources; and 
  • properly managed forests will always have more trees, and we will always have crops and the residual biological matter from those crops. 

Biomass feedstocks can be used to create 3 types of energy: 

1. Heat 

2. Electricity 

3. Biofuels, such as biodiesel 

Biomass contains stored chemical energy from the sun. Plants produce biomass through photosynthesis. Biomass can be burned directly for heat or converted to renewable liquid and gaseous fuels through various processes. 

Biomass sources for energy include: 

  • Wood and wood processing wastes—firewood, wood pellets, and wood chips, lumber and furniture mill sawdust and waste, and black liquor from pulp and paper mills 
  • Agricultural crops and waste materials—coconut, corn, soybeans, sugar cane, switchgrass, woody plants, and algae, and crop and food processing residues 
  • Biogenic materials in municipal solid waste—paper, cotton, and wool products, and food, yard, and wood wastes 
  • Animal manure and human sewage 

The advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy 


  • It is sustainable sources which mean that biomass will always available since humans and animals will always create waste and plants will always grow. 
  • By burning biomass won’t release sulfur or mercury, and will release small amount of nitrogen. 
  • Cheap sources as it is made from waste or trash. 
  • It is safe to produce biomass energy at home, with a wood-burning stove or biomass boiler. 
  • Bio-oils can be used in many things like plastics and medicine. 


  • The burning process of biomass will release CO2 that contributes to the climate change. 
  • Biomass also release carbon monoxide which make the air pollution worse. 
  • Deforestation in order to create energy that take up a lot of land.