What is Biomass?

What is biomass, in the context of energy and clean technology?

In theory, biomass is anything that is derived from biological matter. It hence ought to include both plant and animal matter, including animal and human waste.

But in practice, in the energy and environment sectors, biomass refers to materials derived from plant matter. Thus, it can include among others

  • Wood from trees
  • Saw dust from saw mills
  • Seeds and nuts and their coverings – coconut shells, cashew nut shell…
  • Vegetable and fruit waste – includes matter such as bagasse that come from sugar mills
  • Crop waste – stalks, leaves, twigs
  • Oil cake – the deoiled cake that remains after oil has been extracted from oilseeds such as groundnut, palm, castor, rapeseed etc