GC: n

CT: Biomass is the term used for the biological material from living or recently living organisms such as wood, waste materials, gases and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter that is specifically grown in order to produce electricity or to produce heat.

S: BAA - http://www.biofuelsassociation.com.au/what-is-biomass(external link) (last access: 2 December 2014).

N: 1. biomass (n): also bio-mass, c.1980.
  • bio- (prefix): word-forming element, from Greek bio-, comb. form of bios "one's life, course or way of living, lifetime" (as opposed to zoe "animal life, organic life"), from PIE root gweie- "to live". The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean "organic life").
  • mass (n): "lump, quantity, size," late 14c., from Old French masse "lump, heap, pile; crowd, large amount; ingot, bar" (11c.), and directly from Latin massa "kneaded dough, lump, that which adheres together like dough," probably from Greek maza "barley cake, lump, mass, ball," related to massein "to knead," from PIE root mag- "to knead". Sense extended in English in the 1580s to "a large quantity, amount, or number." Strict sense in physics is from 1704.
2. The weight or total quantity of living organisms of one animal or plant species (species biomass) or of all the species in the community (community biomass), commonly referred to a unit area or volume of habitat. The weight or quantity of organisms in an area at a given moment is the standing crop.
3. Biomass is a clean, renewable energy source that can help to significantly diversify transportation fuels in the United States. The Bioenergy Technologies Office is helping transform the nation's renewable and abundant biomass resources into cost-competitive, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts and biopower.
4. The composition of biomass is carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen and small quantities of other atoms, including alkali, alkaline earth and heavy metals can also be found. Biomass is the building block or 'feedstock' for many other fuels.
5. Biomass excludes organic materials such as fossil fuels that have been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum. This is because, 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.

S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=biomass&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 2nd December 2014). 2. EncBrit. 3. EERE - https://www1.eere.energy.gov/bioenergy/(external link) (last access: 2 December 2014). 4 & 5. BAA - http://www.biofuelsassociation.com.au/what-is-biomass(external link) (last access: 2nd December 2014).

GV: bio-mass

S: OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=biomass&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 2 December 2014)


CR: agroenergy, bagasse (EN), biodegradation (EN), bioelectricity, bioethanol (EN), biofuel, biomass energy, biomass fuel, carbon (EN), combustion (EN), ligno-cellulosic biomass, olive mill wastewater, vegetable water.


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