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Types of Biomass

Biomass is a broad term and can cover any plant or plant-derived biodegradable material. For example, trees are one example of a biomass feedstock, as is paper, a bioproduct often derived from wood.

When biomass is used for the production of biofuels the biofuels are often classified as either being first generation or second generation. Each biofuel type uses a different biomass group for its production.

First generation biofuels are dervied from food or oil crops. Examples include ethanol (sourced from the starch in crops such as wheat and corn/maize and from the sucrose in crops such as sugar beet and sugarcane) and biodiesel (sourced from oil-bearing crops such as rapeseed and sunflowers).

Second generation biofuels are sourced from lignocellulosic biomass. The term lignocellulosic is used to describe material that is mostly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant type of biomass and includes a wide variety of different biomass types including grasses, wood, energy crops, and agricultural and municipal wastes.

At Celignis our core expertise is in the accurate and precise analysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Our methods for analysis have been developed and refined over the last 10 years and we have expertise in the application of these methods to a wide variety of biomass types. For example, our near infrared models, which allow us to provide lignocellulosic data within one day of receiving the sample, have been developed on over 1000 different biomass samples.


Some of the biomass types that we have experience in analysing, both using near infrared and wet-chemical methods, are listed below. Click on an entry to see more detail on this feedstock and comments regarding its important compositional properties.


We are also able to characterise seaweed biomass. Click here to read more about our analysis packages for seaweed.


We are also able to characterise the bio-oil that is produced during the pyrolysis of biomass. Click here to read more about our analysis packages for bio-oil.