The term 'biomass' can be applied to any fuel type derived from recently living tissue. This section provides information on some of the properties of biomass fuels together with a summary of the pros and cons associated with biomass fuels.
Many biomass fuels can significantly reduce carbon emissions if they are used to displace fossil fuels, especially in 'heat only' applications such as firing boilers providing space heat and hot water in buildings. Some biomass types can also be converted into liquid fuels suitable for use in vehicles. Biomass fuels can be cheaper to use than fossil fuels in many circumstances, so, combined with increasing fossil fuel prices and energy security issues, biomass is becoming a more and more attractive option. This is reflected in the rapidly increasing number of installations in domestic, commercial and public sector buildings.