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Knowledge Service

Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy

We enhance the knowledge base for policymaking on the bioeconomy.

Topic / Tool

Biomass

Biomass is the physical basis of the bioeconomy and at the core of the societal challenges it addresses. Knowledge on biomass production, availability and use is key.

Bioeconomy

Overview

The bioeconomy as it is described in the Bioeconomy Strategy (COM(2012) 60 final) is based on biomass since it "encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy".

Biomass is defined as "the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from biological origin from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste" (source: Renewable Energy Directive).

Measuring biomass availability is important because it is limited, which can potentially lead to competition for biomass between different biomass-using sectors.

The results described on this page are based partly on work carried out in the context of the JRC Biomass Mandate. However, they do not constitute its official output.

 

Agriculture

 

 

Forestry

In the statistics, forests available for wood supply (FAWS) are separated from forests not available for wood supply. FAWS are defined as forests where no legal, economic or specific environmental restrictions have a significant impact on the supply of wood (UNECE/FAO, 2000).

 

 

The Above-Ground Biomass (AGB) is assessed as the Growing stock, which is the volume of living and standing stems over a specified land area. Included are stem volumes from the stump height to the stem top and the bark.

 

(Results from NFI data harmonised -calibrated with harmonized country estimates- and aligned to 2013 after reconstructing the time series with CBM)

 

The Net Annual Increment (NAI) is defined as the “average annual gross increment in above ground biomass less natural losses". The increment in the biomass of all trees higher than 1.3 m is considered.

 

(Results from NFI data harmonised and aligned to 2013 after reconstructing the time series with CBM)

Fisheries

 

 

Algae

 

 

Waste

 

Biomass Mandate

The "Assessment of the EU and global biomass supply and demand and related sustainability" (aka "Biomass Assessment Mandate of the JRC") is a long-term institutional commitment of the JRC that initiated in 2015.

The Biomass Assessment Mandate covers biomass from all primary production sectors: forestry, agriculture, fisheries, algae.

More information on the Biomass mandate

Biomass Glossary

Search our Biomass Glossary.

Biomass Flows

Below diagram represents the flows of biomass for each sector of the bioeconomy, from supply to uses including trade. The diagram enables deeper analysis and comparison of the different countries and sectors across a defined time series. This diagram is a compilation of harmonised data from the various units contributing to the Biomass project.

 

View visualisation