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About Biomass

Biomass is a biological material obtained from living or recently living plant matter that can be processed into electricity, fuel and heat. Biomass has been used for thousands of years and there are many forms available. The material that Hefler uses includes sustainable forestry and mill residues.
Biomass and the carbon cycle.

Biomass is a form of stored solar energy. It is organic, plant-based material which absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere throughout its lifetime. When biomass is burnt carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. If biomass is managed on a sustainable basis it is harvested as part of a constantly replenished ‘crop’. This maintains a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Benefits of Biomass

Biomass is organic, plant-based material sourced from our forests and mill residue, such as bark, sawdust and shavings. Throughout its lifetime, biomass absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, through the process of photosynthesis, stores it as energy. When biomass is burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Biomass, such as crops and trees, is then replanted and the whole process starts again, maintaining carbon equilibrium. Carbon emissions from the biomass electricity life cycle (planting, harvesting, processing and transportation) are lower than burning conventional fossil fuels.

Biomass is an important part of a global clean power generation solution and is already the fourth-largest energy resource in the world after oil, coal and gas.