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Biomass refers to plant or plant-based materials that are used to produce electricity or other forms of power. Biomass can either be used via combustion to produce heat or it can be used after converting it into other forms of biofuel.

Biomass fuels accounted for almost 4% of the energy consumed in the U.S. in 2010. Of this, 43 percent was from biofuels, about 46% from wood and wood-derived biomass, and about 11% from municipal waste.

Biomass offers significant environmental and consumer benefits, which includes improved forest health, protects air quality, and offers the most reliable renewable energy source.  In addition, using biomass for energy not only reduces dependency on fossil fuels that are nearing exhaustion but also saves the environment from greenhouse gas emissions.

While the process used to generate electricity is similar using biomass fuel or fossil fuel, the equipment needed is different. As with any energy generation process, the plant needs a steady supply of fuel.