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Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.


An introduction to biomass energy, a renewable resource. Donald L.Klass. Biomass Energy Research Association. (no date).

Extracts from Clean Cities – Alternative Fuels Data Center. U.S. Department of Energy (no date).

Key Questions

An Introduction to Biomass Energy, a Renewable Resource

  • What is the estimated potential of biomass for meeting our energy requirements?
  • What are the driving forces which make the use of biomass for energy attractive?
  • What are the usable products yielded by the technologies that process and convert biomass for fuel?
  • What is the trend with reference to the share of the energy derived from biomass in the total energy expenditure in US over time?
  • How important have the government incentives been in propping up the industry involved in energy production from biomass?
  • What is the environmental impact of using biomass as source of energy?
  • What are the projected economic impacts of a growing biomass energy industry?
  • What are the barriers to the growth of biomass energy industry?
  • What are the advantages of using biodiesel?
  • Which government legislation promotes the use of biofuels?
  • What are the advantages of using bioethanol?