Biomass is organic matter that can be used to produce electricity and supply heat and fuel. Biomass comes in different forms such as bagasse (the waste plant fibre left after the juice is removed from sugarcane); greenwaste (the tree clippings from gardens, parks or plantations); food processing waste (such as nut shells and grain husks, fruit and vegetable peel and other waste from canneries); and vegetable oils.
Although carbon dioxide is released when biomass is burned, the continued growth of biomass takes an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So unlike burning coal, using biomass to produce energy does not add to overall carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Biomass also has negligible levels of pollutants.
Another advantage of using biomass for energy production, is that it often recycles the waste products from other processes, such as sawmilling or food processing.
For example bagasse is used to fire boilers in sugar mills. The high-pressure steam produced by the boilers is used to turn turbine blades. The mechanical energy of the turning blades can be converted to electricity.
Much of the steam and electricity from bagasse is used directly by the mill in the sugar making process. The excess electricity is sold on the state