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3 types of biomass can be distinguished:
 
3 types of biomass can be distinguished:
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*'''[[Solid biofuels|Solid biomass]]''' - the use of trees, crop residues, animal and human waste (although not strictly a solid biomass source, it is often included in this category for the sake of convenience), household or industrial residues for direct combustion to provide heat. Bagasse (sugarcane residue remaining after the sugar is extracted) is another example of solid biomass, it is used in making liquor. Often the solid biomass will undergo physical processing such as cutting, chipping, briquetting, etc. but retains its solid form.  
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*'''[[Solid biofuels|Solid biomass]]''' - the use of trees, crop residues, animal and human waste (although not strictly a solid biomass source, it is often included in this category for the sake of convenience), household or industrial residues for direct combustion to provide heat. [[Food]] to nourish humans and animals. Finally bagasse (sugarcane residue remaining after the sugar is extracted) is another example of solid biomass, it is used in making liquor. Often the solid biomass will undergo physical processing such as cutting, chipping, briquetting, etc. but retains its solid form.  
    
*'''[[Biogas and liquid biofuels|Liquid biomass]]''' - are obtained by subjecting organic materials to one of various chemical or physical processes to produce a usable, combustible, liquid fuel. Examples of liquid biomass are ie [[Vegetable oil as fuel|vegetable oils]], [[Ethanol as fuel|ethanol]], ...
 
*'''[[Biogas and liquid biofuels|Liquid biomass]]''' - are obtained by subjecting organic materials to one of various chemical or physical processes to produce a usable, combustible, liquid fuel. Examples of liquid biomass are ie [[Vegetable oil as fuel|vegetable oils]], [[Ethanol as fuel|ethanol]], ...
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*'''[[Biogas and liquid biofuels|Gaseous biomass]]''' - biogas is obtained by anaerobically (in an air free environment) digesting organic material. Methane, which is another combustible gas known can be extracted from this gas. Animal waste and municipal waste are two common feedstocks for [[anaerobic digestion]].
 
*'''[[Biogas and liquid biofuels|Gaseous biomass]]''' - biogas is obtained by anaerobically (in an air free environment) digesting organic material. Methane, which is another combustible gas known can be extracted from this gas. Animal waste and municipal waste are two common feedstocks for [[anaerobic digestion]].
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===Getting the most out of the biomass===
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== Producing and gathering biomass ==
{{Main|Waste plant parts and residues as fuel}}
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Biomass is available in varying quantities throughout the developing world - from densely forested areas in the temperate and tropical regions of the world, to sparsely vegetated arid regions where collecting wood fuel for household needs is a time consuming and arduous task.  
For economic reasons, the processing of the biomass is done according to a specific pattern.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biobased_economy Biobased economy]</ref> This pattern, as well as the quantities, ... depend on the types of biomass used. In addition, within some types of biomass (ie living or dead plants), some crops can only be used for one or a few applications (ie some oil crops as Jatropha, Pongamia, ... can only be used as storable fuel and immediatelly consumable fuel, oil crops as [[rapeseed]] can only be used as [[food]] and storable fuel). The whole of finding the most suitable pattern is known as [[biorefining]]. A general list shows the products with high added value and lowest volume of biomass to the products with the lowest added value and highest volume of biomass<ref>Kijk magazine, number 8, 2011</ref>:
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* fine chemicals/medicins
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In recent decades, with the threat of global deforestation, much focus has been given to the efficient use of solid biomass and the promoting of [[biofuel]]s (for stationary use and use in vehicles) in areas where woodfuel is in particular shortage. Although domestic fuelwood users suffer greatly from the effects of deforestation, the main cause of deforestation is clearing of land for agricultural use and for commercial timber or fuel-wood use.  
* food
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* chemicals/bioplastics
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Many programmes have been established during the last 3 decades aimed at developing and disseminating improved stove technologies to reduce the burden, primarily borne by women, of
* transportfuels
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fuelwood collection. An additional advantage is the reducing of health risks associated with burning fuelwood. Technologies have also been introduced to help with the processing of biomass, either to improve efficiency or to allow for easy transportation.
* immediate burning for electricity and heat
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== Attaining biomass ==
   
As mentioned earlier, natural biomass resources vary in type and content, depending on geographical location.  For convenience sake, we can split the world’s biomass producing areas into three distinct geographical regions:  
 
As mentioned earlier, natural biomass resources vary in type and content, depending on geographical location.  For convenience sake, we can split the world’s biomass producing areas into three distinct geographical regions:  
 
   
 
   
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{{Main|Biofuel}}
 
{{Main|Biofuel}}
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Crop and industrial biomass residues are now widely used in many countries to provide centralised, medium and large-scale production of process heat for electricity production or other commercial end uses. There are several examples in Indonesia of timber processing plants using wood waste-fired boilers to provide heat and electricity for their own needs, and occasionally for sale to other consumers.
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Besides the use of [[food]] to nourish humans, animals, crop and industrial biomass residues are also useful as they allow the production of process heat for electricity production or other commercial end uses. They are now widely used in many countries to provide centralised, medium and large-scale energy production. There are several examples in Indonesia of timber processing plants using wood waste-fired boilers to provide heat and electricity for their own needs, and occasionally for sale to other consumers.
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To make use of biomass for our own energy needs we can simply tap into this energy source, in its simplest form we know, this is a basic open fire used to provide heat for cooking, warming water or warming the air in our home. More sophisticated technologies exist for extracting this energy and converting it into useful heat or power in an efficient way.
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===Utililising the biomass efficiently===
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{{Main|Waste plant parts and residues as fuel}}
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For economic reasons, the processing of the biomass is first done according to a specific pattern in order to get the most out of the biomass.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biobased_economy Biobased economy]</ref> This pattern, as well as the quantities, ... depend on the types of biomass used. In addition, within some types of biomass (ie living or dead plants), some crops can only be used for one or a few applications (ie some oil crops as Jatropha, Pongamia, ... can only be used as storable fuel and immediatelly consumable fuel, oil crops as [[rapeseed]] can only be used as [[food]] and storable fuel). The whole of finding the most suitable pattern is known as [[biorefining]]. A general list shows the products with high added value and lowest volume of biomass to the products with the lowest added value and highest volume of biomass<ref>Kijk magazine, number 8, 2011</ref>:
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* fine chemicals/medicins
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* food
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* chemicals/bioplastics
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* storable fuels (ie for use in engines/gen-sets)
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* non-storable fuels (immediate burning for electricity and heat)
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For using the biomass to fulfill in our own energy needs, there are several options. The most basic (and energy-inefficient option) is the open fire. The open fire fulfills in several needs: it provides [[light]], [[heat]], the option to [[cook]] something, scare wild animals, repel insects, [[Food preservation|smoke food]]. More sophisticated technologies exist for extracting this energy and converting it into useful heat or power in an efficient way.
    
===Biomass use in the developing world===  
 
===Biomass use in the developing world===  
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78.6   
 
78.6   
 
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Biomass is available in varying quantities throughout the developing world - from densely forested areas in the temperate and tropical regions of the world, to sparsely vegetated arid regions where collecting wood fuel for household needs is a time consuming and arduous task.
  −
  −
In recent decades, with the threat of global deforestation, much focus has been given to the efficient use of biomass (as well as introducing alternative fuels) in areas where woodfuel is in particular shortage. Although domestic fuelwood users suffer greatly from the effects of deforestation, the main cause of deforestation is clearing of land for agricultural use and for commercial timber or fuel-wood use.
  −
  −
Many programmes have been established during the last 3 decades aimed at developing and disseminating improved stove technologies to reduce the burden, primarily borne by women, of
  −
fuelwood collection as well as reducing health risks associated with burning fuelwood. Technologies have also been introduced to help with the processing of biomass, either to improve efficiency or to allow for easy transportation.
      
===Local utilisation using improved stoves===  
 
===Local utilisation using improved stoves===  
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