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Glossary of Terms


Waste consisting of all type of plant material left in the field after harvest as well as all the crop waste remaining after processing. Examples of biomass are: corn Stover, rice hulls, wheat straw, sugar cane bagasse and more. Also in this category we can include dedicated energy crops which are non-food crops and are often grown on unproductive land specifically as feedstock for the production of electricity or bio-fuels. Some examples are: Miscanthus grass, sorghum and African palm among others. While most crop residues are left in the field to reduce erosion and recycle nutrients back into the soil, some could be used to produce energy without harming the soil.


Any type of energy such as solar, wind, etc., that can replace or supplement traditional fossil-fuel sources such as coal, oil and natural gas.


Charcoal produced from the slow pyrolysis of biomass.


Fuels that are made of biomass products and can be used to generate power.


Biomass is biological material from living, or recently living organisms, such as wood, waste, (hydrogen) gas, and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce heat.


Process that converts carbonaceous materials such as coal, biomass and virtually any type of waste into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reacting the raw material at high temperatures.


Industrial waste is produced by industrial activity such as factories, mills, and mines. It's not all hazardous or toxic and can consist of Slag, Fly Ash, and Sludge. It is often a significant portion of solid waste in every community. Industrial waste is usually collected by the private sector and municipalities have been slower to target this waste stream for recovery. When non-hazardous, industrial waste ends at the landfills along with the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). In the United States alone, industrial facilities generate and dispose approximately 7.6 billion tons of industrial solid waste each year. Similar to MSW, industrial materials are also valuable commodities with a great potential for energy production.


Waste materials, that cannot be considered general waste, generated at health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, dental practices, blood banks and veterinary clinics as well as medical research facilities and laboratories. Examples include disposed surgical gloves, needles, syringes, surgical instruments, etc.


Waste consisting of everyday items we consume and discard. It is commonly referred to as trash or garbage. It predominantly includes food wastes, yard wastes, containers and product packaging, and other miscellaneous inorganic wastes from residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial sources. This type of waste contains a high calorific value and is therefore an excellent source to generate electricity.


Known as the fourth state of the matter, plasma is defined as a fluid that contains neutral atoms, charged atoms and free electrons. It responds to and generates electro-magnetic forces.


Decomposition or transformation of a chemical compound caused by heat in absence of oxygen.


It’s a source of energy that can never be exhausted.


It’s energy that will last long into the future without causing any harmful repercussions for future generations.