Information about qualities of the most important groups of organic material and biomass, that are treated by the use of agro-environmental
technologies. The qualities are described in the form of chemical composition and bioenergy yield, using parametres, that are relevant for the
specific type of biomass, and with reference to the information source. Click the biomass group for data about chemical composition and
The effects of agro-environmental technologies are obtained via the way they handle organic
Organic material is defined as carbon containing material. Livestock manure is an important
organic material in connnection with agro-environmental technologies, simply because much of the nitrogen
(N) and phosphorus (P) that ends in the environment, was emitted while livestock manure was the
carrier of it.
Organic material becomes biomass, when used for bioenergy production, which is sometimes an
integrated purpose of the use of agro-environmental technologies.
Biomass, a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently
living organisms, such as wood, waste, (hydrogen) gas, and alcohol fuels. Biomass
is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce heat. In this sense,
living biomass can also be included, as plants can also generate electricity while
still alive. The most conventional way in which biomass is used, however, still
relies on direct incineration. Forest residues, for example (such as dead trees,
branches and tree stumps), yard clippings, wood chips and garbage are often used for
this. However, biomass also includes plant or animal matter used for production of
fibers or chemicals. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt
as fuel. It excludes such organic materials as fossil fuels, which have been transformed
by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.
Industrial biomass can be grown from numerous types of plants, including miscanthus,
switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow, sorghum, sugarcane, and a variety of tree
species, ranging from eucalyptus to oil palm (palm oil). The particular plant used is
usually not important to the end products, but it does affect the processing of the raw
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.
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