biomass

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From bio- +‎ mass.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbaɪ.ə(ʊ)ˌmæs/
  • Hyphenation: bi‧o‧mass

Noun[edit]

biomass (usually uncountable, plural biomasses)

  1. The total mass of a living thing or part thereof, such as a cell.
    • 2005, David A Guertin and David M Sabatini, chapter "Cell Size Control" in Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Wiley:
      Since protein constitutes the majority of the biomass of a cell, building new protein is a major way that cells increase their size.
  2. The total mass of all living things within a specific area, habitat etc.
    • 2015, Theo Tait, ‘Don't wear yum-yum yellow’, London Review of Books, vol. 34 no. 15:
      In the untouched Shangri-la-like Kingman Reef in the Line Islands in the central Pacific, sharks make up 75 per cent of the fish biomass.
  3. Vegetation used as a fuel, or source of energy, especially if cultivated for that purpose.
    • 1997, R. Socolow, Industrial Ecology and Global Change, Cambridge University Press (→ISBN), page 199
      Advanced technologies such as gasifier/gas turbine systems for electric power generation and fuel cells for transportation make it possible for biomass to provide a substantial share of world energy in the decades ahead, at competitive costs.

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