What grasshoppers feed on

Anyone walking past a meadow on a mild summer evening is often exposed to an impressive concert. It is the grasshoppers, bush crickets and crickets that create a Mediterranean atmosphere with their chirping. The songs are ...

NASA releases breakthrough forest biomass-carbon product data

NASA's GEDI mission has reached a major milestone with the release of its newest data product, which provides the first near-global estimate of aboveground forest biomass and the carbon it stores—filling a key gap in climate ...

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Biomass

Biomass, is a renewable energy source, biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms, such as wood, waste, and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity[1] or produce heat. For example, forest residues (such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps), yard clippings and wood chips may be used as biofuel. However, biomass also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibers or chemicals. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel. It excludes organic material such as fossil fuel which has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.

Industrial biomass can be grown from numerous types of plant, including miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow, sorghum, sugarcane, and a variety of tree species, ranging from eucalyptus to oil palm (palm oil). The particular plant used is usually not important to the end products, but it does affect the processing of the raw material.

Although fossil fuels have their origin in ancient biomass, they are not considered biomass by the generally accepted definition because they contain carbon that has been "out" of the carbon cycle for a very long time. Their combustion therefore disturbs the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.

Plastics from biomass, like some recently developed to dissolve in seawater, are made the same way as petroleum-based plastics. These plastics are actually cheaper to manufacture and meet or exceed most performance standards, but they lack the same water resistance or longevity as conventional plastics.

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