Some of the leading biomass feedstocks include: (top row) switchgrass, copra (coconut), cotton, jatropha; (middle row) municipal solid waste (msw), sunflowers, palm nuts, canola; (bottom row) wheat, sugar cane, wood, and rice.

Photographs by USDA, V. Zutshi, S. Beaugez, M. Hendrikx, S. Heydt, M. Oeltjenbruns, A. Munoraharjo, F. Choudhury, G. Upton, O. Siudak, M. Gunther, R. Singh
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People have used biomass energy—energy from living things—since the earliest “cave men” first made wood fires for cooking or keeping warm. Today, biomass is used to fuel electric generators and other machinery.