In nature there are many terms and concepts that for many are unknown but that over time we come across them and give more meaning to many things that previously seemed not to make much sense, in this case we mention biomass , a concept that such Sometimes for some it is unknown or simply had been forgotten but it is of great importance in biology and in the scientific world .


What is biomass?

The concept of biomass can be defined in two different ways but that in themselves encompass a very similar sense. According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, biomass is defined as:

  • Total unit of the forms that live in a given territory, expressed in weight per unit area or volume.
  • Vegetable body produced in a biological , spontaneous or provoked interval , suitable as a source of energy .
  • Definition
  • Biomass characteristics
  • What is biomass for?
  • History
  • Cycle
  • Types
  • Where it is obtained
  • How it is produced
  • Biomass burners
  • Disadvantages
  • Importance of biomass
  • Examples


The biomass is any material both organic and vegetable waste and which is susceptible to be transformed or utilized as fuel for man and is expressed in units of volume .


Biomass characteristics

The characteristics of biomass are generally based on its energetic function , which it can generate through its components and its specific location in a certain time since it can be found in different environments , both terrestrial and aquatic and its origin since it can be animal or vegetable, some of these are:

  • Chemical composition , which helps determine what kind of fuel it can be.
  • Content of moisture or percentage of water content in the biomass per kilogram in a dry material.
  • Caloric power , which is directly related to humidity , since the more humidity it contains, the less fuel it contains. From the caloric power it is determined how much energy it can generate.
  • The percentage of ash contained in a biomass , in a solid material, indicates that the amount of useful fuel is contained within it.
  • Apparent density defined by the unit of volume of the material.

What is biomass for?

Few actually know the use of biomass in everyday life, but it is constantly used on a day-to-day basis in many different ways. It is generally used as a generator of energy , either caloric or electrical, depending on how it is processed. Operated in industries as a manufacturer of heat in different machines, also it is manipulated in many homes as heating by heating surfaces and heating water.


At the beginning before the arrival of the fuels fossils the biomass was already used in different areas and certain activities of daily life for many, generating energy for cooking, heating water, making pottery among others. With the passing of time was used to feed machines and steam for creating metals, in fact biomass is the oldest source of energy in the world and with that early humans were able to perform feats that in ancient times were hard to imagine , as for example in prehistory when cavementhey managed to produce fire by combining different elements rich in biomass. It is the oldest renewable energy source and is still present today helping to solve problems generated by the energy crisis in many countries, mainly in Europe .


The cycle of biomass is not really something complicated to understand, it is very basic and we have seen many times this time without knowing what is present. It begins mainly with the raw material which we can take to make this explanation simpler such as wood, once the trees have already grown and carried out photosynthesis that is where more and more trees grow forming forests , in photosynthesis the Co2 is transformed into Oxygen , vital to survive on our planet. Wood in turn, when felled and processed can become a heat generator as firewood, during this process more is releasedCo2 that will then be used by other trees for photosynthesis and generate more O2 for the planet and other living beings , which can create their own biomass cycle. This is basically the cycle in a simple way to explain biomass and thus be able to realize how present it is in our days without realizing it.


Among the different types of biomass according to their functions and subsequent process we can name the following:

  • Forest Residues
  • Waste Agricultural and woody
  • Waste Agricultural and Herbaceous
  • Industrial Forest and Agricultural Waste
  • Energy crops

Where it is obtained

As we have already mentioned, biomass is present in all the nature that surrounds us, either in the flora, all the trees and plants that process Co2 and convert it into oxygen for our livelihood as well as in the fuels processed and created from organic feedstock, which is being used exponentially in today to alleviate the crisis energy created by the hydrocarbons .

How it is produced

It is normally taken from all sources of biomass both provided by nature as fields or crops of biomass that they are being released at present which serves for production as raw and subsequent material transfer and processing so industry .

Biomass burners

The burners are part of a machine or boiler in which a combustion product mixture occurs the fuel and oxygen , if you are using biomass as fuel, wear specific burners. Some of these burners are used in different areas, they can be industrial burners boilers , industrial dryers , water heaters and bakery ovens , basically everything that generates heat .


The disadvantages of using biomass as alternative energy is that they occupy a lot of space, speaking of volume in relation to the amount of energy they generate compared to fossil fuels, there is also the issue of transportation which is more complicated and storage which is very scarce and dispersed worldwide in the same way as the generating and processing industries . Thus generating costs such as corn to rise.

Importance of biomass

It is really imperative to know how biomass works and what is in itself , since not only is it the oldest source of energy, but also in times of current energy crisis, although it is a resource that is a little more difficult to process or slower and not generates the same energy as other fuels , in the same way it is one of the most reliable and healthy that the planet has , our home .


Below we will name some examples of biomass materials used as power generators :

  • The firewood .
  • Seed husks and fruits dry .
  • Food scraps .
  • Stems , pruning residues and wood .
  • Corn , wheat, sorghum, barley and other cereals .
  • Sawdust .
  • Household residual oils .

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