Scott Wilson, MSc, EP
By Scott Wilson, MSc, EP on September 17, 2015

The 5 Reasons You Should Care About Biomass

Think biomass and its production doesn’t impact you? Read on to learn 5 great reasons why you should care about biomass!

What Exactly IS Biomass?

Biomass is essentially all of the plants and animals that are on the planet today. It is biological material that can be derived from any living or recently living matter. Biomass can be sustainable and renewable if managed properly as well as providing environmental, economic and social benefits. It can be burned to create energy such as heat or electricity, converted into bio-products such as composite materials, or even made into nutraceuticals (supplements and health products derived from biological ingredients).

1. Biomass can be made into useful products or energy.
Many biomass products come from materials that may have otherwise been wasted. For example, the harvesting residue from a forestry cut block or the wood waste from construction can be made into shipping palettes, wood chips, or mulch.

2. Biomass can be used for heating and electricity.
Biomass can produce gas, which can then be used to create heat and electricity. For example, methane can be captured from animal manure, which in turn, can be burned to heat water. The steam produced from heating water turns a generating turbine producing electricity.

3. Biomass production facilitates economic diversification.
By producing products, energy or services from biomass, there is potential to build new production facilities, add new transportation routes, and create new jobs.

4. Biomass helps reduce landfill use.
Biomass can be utilized at home by saving food and yard waste. You can create a rich organic compost that can fertilize your garden while diverting this waste from landfills.

5. Biomass is everywhere.
While we may associate biomass production with large agricultural or forestry operations, we also encounter many biomass sources in our everyday lives. With so many living things on the planet, there are multiple ways to how it can be found and used.

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