/ˈbaɪoʊɛnədʒi/ (say 'buyohenuhjee)

the energy produced in the burning of biomass.
Plant and animal matter, when fossilised, is the source of coal and oil fossil fuels. The same source, but not fossilised, can be used to produce energy. That energy is called biomass energy or bioenergy. Solar energy and carbon dioxide which were stored in plants during photosynthesis are released again as energy and CO2, in a reverse of photosynthesis when the biomass is burnt. Direct use of biomass occurs in the burning of wood for heating and cooking. Indirect use of biomass occurs when it is converted to a liquid or gas fuel – as in the production of ethanol from sugar crops, biodiesel from vegetable or animal oil, or methane from animal manure. In Australia, the sugar industry uses bagasse (fibrous residue from sugar cane) to produce its own energy with excess sent to the electricity grid. Australia has a wealth of biomass resources and there is growing interest in the potential of burning sugar cane bagasse, wood offcuts, sawdust and woodchips in power stations for bioenergy.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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