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

Oh no! It appears that there was an error with your submission. Care to try again?

Coming soon!

You've found a feature that is not available.

Get notified when this feature is available

Our media can be used in a variety of contexts—from media spotlights to encyclopedic entries to lessons. From this page, check out the different ways you can use this .

Other Pages That Use This Item

biomass energy
biomass energy Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
6 - 12 and up


Appropriate For

  • Educators
  • Students

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.