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A rubbish idea

You may never have heard of it, but biomass is the most important source of energy in the world apart from fossil fuels.

So what is it?

Biomass is basically anything that once was alive. This includes trees, plants, animal poo and food waste.

But this doesn't mean that we have to start cutting down the rainforests to get biomass fuel. Several crops are grown specially for the job, and they are replanted as fast as they are cut down.

At the moment there are a number of big British power stations that generate electricity by burning biomass fuel.

In fact, the largest straw-fired power station in the world is in Cambridgeshire. Over 320,000 bales of straw are collected from farms within a 50-mile radius of the power station and burned to make electricity for 52,000 homes in the area.

Although this might sound like an awful lot of electricity, it is in fact just a tiny amount compared to the electricity made by a normal gas power station.

The company that runs the biomass power station is hoping to build a similar power station in Thetford, fuelled by recycled wood.

Wouldn't it be great if your DIY leftovers could be used as fuel to make electricity for your TV?

What is "Biomass"?
What is "Fossil fuel"?
What is "Power station"?
Fascinating fact
Fascinating fact

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Biomass power
Watch: Biomass power