BioEnergy is stored energy
from the sun contained in materials such as plant matter and animal waste,
known as biomass. Biomass is plant matter and animal waste that can be
harvested to create bioenergy in the form of electricity, heat, steam and
fuels. Biomass is considered renewable because it is replenished more
quickly when compared to the millions of years required to replenish fossil
BioEnergy is one of the oldest energy
sources. It all started when humans learned how to control fire to provide
heat from the elements. Ancient civilizations also used animal fats or
vegetable oils for their lamps - this is an example of biofuels.
By definition, BioEnergy
technologies use renewable resources to create energy such as electricity or
fuels. According to the US Department of Energy, bioEnergy ranks second (to
hydropower) in renewable U.S. primary energy production and accounts for 3% of
the primary energy production in the United States.
Biomass, simply, is material derived from recently living organisms.
It includes dedicated energy crops and trees, agricultural food and feed
crops, agricultural crop wastes and residues, wood wastes and residues,
aquatic plants, animal wastes, municipal wastes, and other waste materials.
The wide variety of biomass fuel sources includes algae;
biogas made from anaerobic digestion
of agricultural waste and animal waste; wood such as
pulp/paper mill residue, urban wood waste, and forest residue; and energy
Biomass is grown from several plants, including
corn, poplar, willow and sugarcane
can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or
derived from biomass. Biofuels help meet transportation fuel needs. The most
common types of biofuels are biodiesel;
methane from landfills and animal waste; and
- Alternative fuels, as defined by the
Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct), include ethanol,
natural gas, propane, hydrogen,
methanol, and p-series fuels. These fuels are being used worldwide in a
variety of vehicle applications.