The necessary resources to create biomass include any plant-derived / derived from organic materia available from renewables. These materials are commonly referred to as raw materials.
Raw materials for biomass
Raw materials needed to form biomass include dedicated energy crops, agricultural crops, forestry residues, aquatic crops, biomass processing residues, municipal and animal waste processing residues.
Dedicated crops for energy production
These herbaceous crops are perennial and are harvested annually, after 2 or 3 years to reach maximum productivity. These include herbs such as switchgrass, Miscanthus (also known as elephant grass), sweet sorghum, bamboo, tall fescue, Koch and others.
Short period woody crops are fast-growing trees, featuring hardwoods, which are harvested in 5 to 8 years after planting. These include hybrid poplar, hybrid willow , silver maple, green ash, black walnut, maple and others.
Crops include products currently available – raw materials such as corn oil and corn starch, soybean oil and flour, corn starch and vegetable oils. They generally produce, sugars, oils and other extracts, although they can also be used to produce plastics and other chemicals or other products.
Residues of agricultural plantations
These residues of agricultural plantations include materials for biomass, like stems and leaves, which aren’t harvested for commercial areas.
Examples include corn (stalks, leaves, husks, cobs, fruit), wheat straws and rice straws. With a large area of corn planted annually, corn is expected to become an important raw material for bio energy.
Forest residues include not harvested biomass or lifted off the locations with hardwood commercial interest, for example conifers and materials resulting from forest management operations, such as thinning or removing dead and dying trees.
There is a variety of aquatic biomass resources such as algae, other seaweed or marine microflora.
Residues from Biomass processes
Processing yields of biomass by-products and waste streams that are collectively called residues have significant potential energy. Residues are simple to use because they already have been collected. For example after woodworking unused products appear, such as bark or sawdust, branches, leaves, needles.
Residential, commercial, institutional consumer waste contains a significant proportion of organic material derived from plants or constituting a renewable energy resource. Waste paper, cardboard, wood waste, yard waste are examples of biomass resources found in municipal waste.
Animal farms and their processing locations creates animal waste that is a complex source of organic materials, with consequences on the environment. These wastes can be used to produce several products, including energy.
Some biomass materials such as municipal waste, are found throughout the country. Others, such as energy crops, are concentrated in the E, SE, S of the country. As technology advances, the biomass resource base will expand.