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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ As yet, there is no commercial gas from biomass.
▪ Circle 138 Aber Instruments displayed its new research and industrial biomass monitors.
▪ In less-developed nations, power from burning biomass is also important locally.
▪ In sheer bulk of biomass, organisms without brains or even without central nervous systems far outnumber those possessing these desirable features.
▪ The fuel is clean burning which means the gas-cleaning system can be simple compared with systems burning a different biomass.
▪ The model 214-2F research biomass monitor has increased sensitivity, improved long-term stability and reduced effect of gas hold-up in fermenters.
▪ The techniques of converting these wastes to methane are similar to those currently under study in the pyrolysis of biomass.
▪ This occurs for non-woody monocotyledons of low biomass, where leaves form a constant high proportion of the total biomass.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also bio-mass, c.1980, from bio- + mass (n.1).


n. 1 The total mass of a living thing or part thereof, such as a cell. 2 The total mass of all living things within a specific area, habitat etc. 3 vegetation used as a fuel, or source of energy, especially if cultivated for that purpose.

  1. n. plant materials and animal waste used as fuel

  2. the total mass of living matter in a given unit area

Biomass (ecology)

Biomass, in ecology, is the mass of living biological organisms in a given area or ecosystem at a given time. Biomass can refer to species biomass, which is the mass of one or more species, or to community biomass, which is the mass of all species in the community. It can include microorganisms, plants or animals. The mass can be expressed as the average mass per unit area, or as the total mass in the community.

How biomass is measured depends on why it is being measured. Sometimes, the biomass is regarded as the natural mass of organisms in situ, just as they are. For example, in a salmon fishery, the salmon biomass might be regarded as the total wet weight the salmon would have if they were taken out of the water. In other contexts, biomass can be measured in terms of the dried organic mass, so perhaps only 30% of the actual weight might count, the rest being water. For other purposes, only biological tissues count, and teeth, bones and shells are excluded. In some applications, biomass is measured as the mass of organically bound carbon (C) that is present.

Apart from bacteria, the total live biomass on Earth is about 560 billion tonnes C, and the total annual primary production of biomass is just over 100 billion tonnes C/yr. The total live biomass of bacteria may be as much as that of plants and animals or may be much less. The total amount of DNA base pairs on Earth, as a possible approximation of global biodiversity, is estimated at 5.0 x 10, and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC (trillion tons of carbon).


Biomass is organic matter derived from living, or recently living organisms. Biomass can be used as a source of energy and it most often refers to plants or plant-based materials which are not used for food or feed, and are specifically called lignocellulosic biomass. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. Conversion of biomass to biofuel can be achieved by different methods which are broadly classified into: thermal, chemical, and biochemical methods.

Usage examples of "biomass".

After he was caught for the third time hauling up endangered groundfish in forbidden biomass nets, he was told his license was forfeit.

If I do not return, then Captain Kirk will have to decide whether or not to open fire on the green biomass surrounding New Ibadan in an attempt to save your city-or to buy the city enough time for other vessels to get here and evacuate your people.

Because the Ark contains thousands of times more biomass proportionate to size than does the Earth, the gas accumulation will be enormous.

It will have productive biomass and intensive agriculture, aesthetic diversion, and absolute environmental control.

Swifter of pace but lesser in bulk, other creatures inhabiting the sea frolicked around these masters of biomass conversion.

Whatever had cost these pyramid builders their lives had not been berserkers, for the rest of the native biomass had not been extinguished with them.

They were often neglected in favor of massive sea beasts or flashy predators, but in terms of biomass, gram by gram, insects could overwhelm.

Only the biomass, in its soft, shapeless dermal, looked as though it might have been made by contemporary technology.

Although the big stasis field that surrounded the raiders was being clearly and continuously tracked and plotted by the central biomass, there was still no clue as to where on the Krystaleit perimeter the first blow would fall.

The Pattern Juggler biomass scurried and squirmed to evade the track of the shadow, and the peculiar purposefulness of the motion reminded Naqi of an octopus she had seen in the terrestrial habitats aquarium on Umingmaktok, squeezing its way through impossibly small gaps in the glass prison of its tank.

The biomass sensed the approach of the probes and rearranged itself so that they passed through with little obstruction, even those scything lines that reached into the water.

Part of it was that several years of drought and famine had exhausted the resources of the developing nations, and part of it was that with the widespread growth of fusion power, hydrogen-, methane-, and alcohol-fuels, plus assorted other sources like biomass, geothermal, wind-power, ocean current-turbines, and so onall in addition to solar energythe world's appetite for oil had dropped dramatically.

A series of bar charts and other displays appeared around the globe, showing the state of the forests, the sea and land biomass, temperatures, atmospheric gases, and other information.

Now Simon would be part of the carbon cycle, food for bacteria and crabs and then sandpipers and gulls, thus slowly melting into the biomass under the dome.

In sheer bulk of biomass, organisms without brains or even without central nervous systems far outnumber those possessing these desirable features.