Biomass Glossary

Anaerobic digestion: Degradation of organic matter by microbes in the absence of oxygen to produce methane and carbon dioxide

Bagasse: Residue remaining after extracting a sugar-containing juice from plants like sugar cane

Biodiesel: A biodegradable transportation fuel for use in diesel engines. Biodiesel is produced through the transesterification of organically-derived oils or fats. It may be used either as a replacement for or as a component of diesel fuel.

Bioenergy: The production, conversion, and use of material directly or indirectly produced by photosynthesis (including organic waste) to manufacture fuels and substitutes for petrochemical and other energy-intensive products.

Biofuels: Biofuels:  Liquid fuels and blending components produced from biomass feedstocks, used primarily for transportation. Biomass converted to liquid or gaseous fuels such as ethanol, methanol, methane, and hydrogen.

Biogas:  A gaseous mixture of carbon dioxide and methane produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter.

Biomass: Biomass is any organic matter including forest and mill residues, agricultural crops and wastes, wood and wood wastes, animal wastes, livestock operation residues, aquatic plants, and municipal and industrial wastes

Capacity – The power/products that a machine or system can produce or generate safely.

Effluent: The liquid or gas discharged from a process or chemical reactor, usually containing residues from that process.

Feedstock: Raw material used for the generation of bioenergy and the creation of other bioproducts.

Gasification: A chemical or heat process to convert a solid fuel to a gaseous form

Grid: An electric utility company’s system for distributing power,

-Grid connection – Joining a plant that generates electric power to a utility system so that electricity can flow in either direction between the utility system and the plant.

Kilowatt: A measure of electrical power equal to 1,000 watts. 1 kW = 3412 Btu/hr

Landfill gas: Biogas produced from the natural degradation of organic material in landfills

Municipal solid waste:  Residential solid waste and some nonhazardous commercial, institutional, and industrial wastes

Pyrolysis:  The thermal decomposition of biomass at high temperatures (greater than 400° F, or 200° C) in the absence of air. The end product of pyrolysis is a mixture of solids (char), liquids (oxygenated oils), and gases (methane, carbon monoxide, and carbondioxide) with proportions determined by operating temperature, pressure, oxygen content, and other conditions

Residues, Biomass:  Byproducts that have significant energy or products potential from processing all forms of biomass.

Thermochemical conversion: The use of heat to change substances chemically to produce energy products

Transesterification: A chemical process which reacts an alcohol with the triglycerides contained in vegetable oils and animal fats to produce biodiesel and glycerin

Waste transfer stations: Facilities where municipal solid waste is unloaded from collection vehicles and briefly held while it is reloaded onto larger long-distance transport vehicles for shipment to landfills or other treatment or disposal facilities

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