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BioEnergyWhat is BioMass?
Biomass  Algae  Biogas  Corn  Miscanthus  Switchgrass  Wood
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BioFuels:  Biodiesel - Coal Gasification - Ethanol
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Overview of BioEnergy
Last Updated on:  06/25/2015 06:30 AM

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 fuels.

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 crops.

    Biomass is grown from several plants, including miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow and sugarcane

  • Biofuel 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; ethanol; methanol; methane from landfills and animal waste; and hydrogen.
  • Alternative fuels, as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct), include ethanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, biodiesel, electricity, methanol, and p-series fuels. These fuels are being used worldwide in a variety of vehicle applications.

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Biomass as Feedstock for a BioEnergy and BioProducts Industry: a Technical Feasibility of a Billion Ton Supplyinformation about biomass availability in the United States 
Biomass Energy Resource CenterWe are BERC, the Biomass Energy Resource Center. Our home is in Montpelier, Vermont, and we work on projects around the country to install systems that use biomass fuel to produce heat and/or electricity. Our partners in these projects have included schools, communities, colleges, businesses, utilities, and government agencies.

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