Some new as well as some not-so-new technologies are creating markets for biomass — and they all have one thing in common. They require plentiful sources of feedstock nearby.
In addition to its use for conversion to liquid fuels, such as ethanol and biobutanol, biomass from high-yielding energy crops can be co-fired with coal to reduce pollutants or processed into natural gas via an established process called anaerobic digestion. These technologies are being practiced today, and many energy companies have indicated their intent to expand their operations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Bioplastics and other fine chemicals from biomass are also in the works by many companies.