The main point about biomass is that it comes from the waste left behind when plants are processed for food. When corn, soybeans, cashews, and other food products are prepared, the inedible parts can be processed and the result will reduce our need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Around the world, research is being done in major universities in order to develop new ways to use food supply and forestry wastes instead of throwing them away. Because of increasing oil prices and environmental concerns, there is growing shift in society towards renewable and sustainable sources for raw materials to use in the manufacture of fuels, plastics, solvents and pharmaceuticals. The use of plant waste in the production of bioenergy and chemicals also represents a necessary step in the reduction of CO2 emissions, and thereby reduces the detrimental impact of human activity in our environment.
So why should I care? Because biomass has so much to do with life on planet earth as we will know it in the near future.
(The attached image shows how young soybean plants thrive in the residue of a wheat crop. This form of no till farming provides good protection for the soil from erosion and helps retain moisture for the new crops.)