In simple terms, biomass is biological material derived from living or recently living matter that can be used as fuels. Cellulose makes up the vast bulk of all plant materials - tough chains of sugar molecules that make up plant cell walls. In the context of biomass used for creating renewable energy, the energy captured in these cellulosic tissues can be released through combustion of the biomass directly or after it has been processed into liquid fuels such as cellulosic ethanol
The global appetite for renewable energy sources that reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions has never been stronger. Government mandates and carbon regulatory measures will be the primary driver for the biomass feedstock market.
Cellulosic ethanol production from dedicated energy crops in the the US is expected to go from zero to 11.4 billion gallons by 2022. As well, a 10% replacement of coal by biomass would be equivalent to taking 600 million cars off the road. Cost effective, high quality biomass feedstocks will be required to meet this demand.