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Biomass: uses and risks

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Biomass is the total mass of living matter, including plants and animals on Earth. According to some authors, the biomass would have remained virtually constant from the late Precambrian era to the present. Strictly speaking, the word means the total biomass of living matter in a given space. The success of this term is due to the current concerns of humanity, which is eager to ensure future supplies of raw materials and energy, and its willingness to use the biosphere wisely. In effect, we consider the constantly renewed source of valuable material sometimes incorrectly, as non-polluting. The annual production of living matter is significant: it has been estimated at about 170 billion tons, i.e. 10 times the total energy consumed worldwide, and about 200 times the energy that our food contains. The role of biomass in the global economy will therefore increase. However, the uses are so numerous that they can compete with each other, such as energy, materials, and food. Moreover, harvestable biomass is not present in its entirety. The interdependence of all living species imperatively requires soil conservation and the biotope. The hopes placed on biomass are not free of contradictions.

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