Biomass is any organic matter that is derived directly or indirectly from photosynthesis.
Through this process, plants absorb from the surrounding environment carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, which are transformed, with the help of solar energy and nutrients in the soil, in organic material useful for plant growth. This is how are fixed each about 2 × 1011 tons of carbon per year, with an energy content equivalent to 70 billion tons of oil, about 10 times the current global energy needs.
Biomass is a term that combines different types of materials of highly heterogeneous in nature. In a general idea, we can say that biomass is all that has organic matrix, with exclusion of the plastics of petrochemical origin and fossil materials, for example as oil and coal which differ by the argument in question. The most important types of biomass are forest residues, livestock farms, algae, aquatic crops and municipal solid waste.The field of biomass for energy is probably the most concrete and immediate source of renewable energy available.
The main applications are: the production of energy (bioenergy), the synthesis of fuels (biofuels) and the synthesis of products (bioproducts).