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Biomass Technology Basics

August 14, 2013 - 11:31am

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Photo of a pair of hands holding corn stover, the unused parts of harvested corn.There are many types of biomass—organic matter such as plants, residue from agriculture and forestry, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes—that can now be used to produce fuels, chemicals, and power. Wood has been used to provide heat for thousands of years. This flexibility has resulted in increased use of biomass technologies. According to the Energy Information Administration, 53% of all renewable energy consumed in the United States was biomass-based in 2007.

Biomass technologies break down organic matter to release stored energy from the sun. The process used depends on the type of biomass and its intended end-use.

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Or read more about EERE's biomass research.

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