Bioenergy (Encyclopedia of Science)
Bioenergy or "biomass energy" is any type of fuel or power that is made from living matter or biomass. Biomass is a scientific term for organic or living matter that is available on a renewable basis, such as plants. Today, fuel produced from biomass like agricultural products, forest products, and waste provides more than 3 percent of this nation's energy demands. Bioenergy is clean, renewable energy.
Solar energy supports life
Bioenergy has been described as solar energy stored up in plant matter, and in many ways all of the energy used by living things is ultimately derived from the Sun. The Sun is constantly bombarding Earth with its energy, and about one-tenth of 1 percent of the energy that reaches our surface is "fixed" or captured by green plants using the process of photosynthesis (by which a plant converts light energy into chemical energy or food). This "fixing" of solar energy is the basis of and supports all the life found in Earth's major ecosystems. It provides, by way of the food chain, all of mankind's food either directly or indirectly. So when we eat fruit and vegetables, we are consuming the energy from the Sun that had been captured and converted by a plant. When we eat meat like the beef of a cow, we are at least one step removed from the green plant and are getting the energy from the cow (who got the energy from the plant)....
(The entire section is 1302 words.)
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