Biomass is all organic material, an example being plant matter. It is either:
- the direct product of photosynthesis (for example plant matter – leaves, stems, etc.) or
- the indirect product of photosynthesis (for example animal mass resulting from the consumption of plant matter).
'Biomass' shall mean the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste.
EU Directive 2001/77/EC (RES-E) - promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources
Types of biomass that are used to provide bioenergy include:
- wastes streams, including residues from forestry and related industries
- recycled wood
- agricultural residues and agrifood effluents
- the organic fraction of municipal solid waste
- separated household waste and sewage sludge
- purpose grown energy crops including short rotation forestry, miscanthus grass, etc.
For more information download the SEAI Briefing Document on Biomass (.pdf, 150kb) or Biomass Factsheet (.pdf, 2082kb)