Biomass is a raw material that is renewable and an alternative to conventional energy sources.
The United States forests provide a large quantity of woody biomass such as: logging residues, small diameter trees, mill residues, and even short rotation woody crops (www.forestencyclopedia.net
). Woody biomass has great potential to contribute to the energy needs of this country. For years, the forest products sector have used logging and mill residues to power and heat thier operations. This technology along with the evolving biofuel research developments has opened the door for woody biomass utilization for all industries not just the traditional sectors.
America's farmlands also provides a substantial source of biomass. The revolutionary concept behind agricultural biomass is its availability is allied to the agricultural products we have produced and depended on for decades. Critics claim utilizing agricultural biomass will deplete our food supply but this biomass is actually the residual excess from the rural yield or above the ground non-grain portion of crops. Agricultural biomass such as: corn stover, switchgrass and soybean oil have potential in contributing to bioenergy and bioproducts in the near future.