CT: We have used biomass energy, or “bioenergy”—the energy from plants and plant-derived materials—since people began burning wood to cook food and keep warm. Wood is still the largest biomass energy resource today, but other sources of biomass can also be used. These include food crops, grassy and woody plants, residues from agriculture or forestry, oil-rich algae, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes. Even the fumes from landfills (which are methane, the main component in natural gas) can be used as a biomass energy source.
S: http://www.nrel.gov/learning/re_biomass.html (last access: 12 February 2015)
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.
– energy (n): 1590s, “force of expression,” from Middle French énergie (16c.), from Late Latin energia, from Greek energeia “activity, action, operation,” from energos “active, working,” from en “at” + ergon “work, that which is wrought; business; action”.
Used by Aristotle with a sense of “actuality, reality, existence” (opposed to “potential”) but this was misunderstood in Late Latin and afterward as “force of expression,” as the power which calls up realistic mental pictures. Broader meaning of “power” in English is first recorded 1660s. Scientific use is from 1807. Energy crisis first attested 1970.
2. The energy released from biomass (all plant matter) when it is eaten, burned or converted into fuels.
3. Have you ever sat by a campfire or fireplace? If so, you’ve see biomass energy in action!
Biomass means “natural material.” When biomass energy is burned, it releases heat, just like the wood logs in your campfire. Biomass energy uses natural materials like trees and plants to make electricity. It can also mean waste products like trash. It is the second-most common form of renewable energy we use in the United States, providing enough electricity to power more than two million homes.
4. We have used biomass energy or “bioenergy” – the energy from plants and plant-derived materials – since people began burning wood to cook food and keep warm. Wood is still the largest biomass energy resource today, but other sources of biomass can also be used. These include food crops, grassy and woody plants, residues from agriculture or forestry, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes. Even the fumes from landfills (which are methane, a natural gas) can be used as a biomass energy source.
5. Currently popular expression: green gold (energy from biomass).
S: 1. OED – (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=biomass+energy&searchmode=none). 2. TACIS (143) p. 43. 3. http://www.alliantenergykids.com/EnergyandTheEnvironment/RenewableEnergy/022398 (last access: 12 February 2015). 4. TERMIUM PLUS – http://goo.gl/p52m1f (last access: 1 December 2016). 5. OG – https://bit.ly/2LrA1Pb (last access: 19 December 2018).
SYN: 1. energy from biomass. 2. bioenergy.
S: 1. TACIS (143) p. 43. 2. TERMIUM PLUS – http://goo.gl/p52m1f (last access: 1 December 2016).