What is Biomass?

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What is Biomass?  Biomass, a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms, this can include wood chips, pellets and wood waste.  Biomass is commonly grown to generate electricity or produce heat.

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.

Benefits of using biomass as a sustainable fuel:

  • Biomass is known as a “carbon neutral” fuel, therefore doesn't produce the carbon emissions of fossil fuels.
  • Biomass can be sourced locally, from within the UK.
  • UK sourced biomass can offer local business opportunities and support the rural economy.
  • The establishment of local networks of production and usage allows financial and environmental costs of transport to be minimized. There is no region in the UK that cannot be a producer of biomass.
  • The use of biomass fuel provides an economic incentive to manage woodland which improves biodiversity.
  • This type of energy production has a limited effect on the environment because the carbon in biomass is part of the natural carbon cycle; while the carbon in fossil fuels is not, and permanently adds carbon to the environment when burned for fuel (carbon footprint).
  • Download our Biomass Heat Guide:

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