Examples of biomass include landfill gas, wood, crops, garbage and alcohol fuels. Biomass is renewable energy that comes from plants and animals.
Many types of biomass, such as wood, are burned when used for energy. Wood is the most common biomass and has been used for thousands of years. In the United States, wood and wood products, such as sawdust and wood chips, provide the country with about 2 percent of its energy each year. Wood is used by business and industry, and to heat homes and cook food. Although wood is still a popular biomass, some countries prohibit its use during high-pollution days because it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Garbage provides another source of biomass. Organic materials like leaves, lawn clippings and food scraps are burned and turned into energy.
Crops are also a form of biomass, and new technology is being developed that turns crops into biofuel. Biofuels made from plants release healthier emissions into the atmosphere. Burning biofuels results in releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, which is good for the planet.
When biofuels like wood and trash are burned, they leave behind ash. The ash often contains harmful compounds, so companies work hard to separate organic matter from inorganic matter to cut down on the amount of harmful ash left over after burning biomass.