What is woody biomass, and where does it come from?

Woody biomass is composed of trees, including wood from the tree's bole (trunk), limbs, tops, roots, and even the foliage. Woody biomass can include shrubs and other woody plants. The principal sources of woody biomass for energy production have historically been:

  • Trees killed or damaged by fire, insects, disease, drought or that have no other use
  • Trees grown specifically for energy production
  • Trees removed to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations or improve forest health

Woody biomass also includes wood wastes from urban areas (e.g. construction wood, tree trimmings) and products derived from trees such as lumber, paper and byproducts of wood manufacturing (e.g. sawdust and bark).

Show All Answers

1. What is woody biomass, and where does it come from?
2. What is renewable biomass energy? Why is it renewable?
3. What is a biomass power generation facility? How is power currently generated from wood?
4. How big is a biomass power plant? How big is the proposed eastern Placer County biomass facility?
5. What waste products does the plant produce?
6. What air pollution issues does biomass power present?
7. How would biomass power impact wildfire catastrophes? Will biomass power endanger our forests?
8. How is it renewable energy if it emits greenhouse gases?
9. Will there be an increased cost of lumber products or food produce? Will any food crops be impacted (like corn due to ethanol production)?
10. Is biomass power more expensive than other power generation?
11. Can biomass be used to make liquid or gas fuels? What about transportation fuels?