1 August 2013

Distribution of biomass use worldwide 2008

Out of the 13 billion tons of biomass (FAO 2011) that are in total harvested from agriculture and forestry, the energetic and material uses of agricultural biomass only constitute 3% each and the use of wood by both sectors approximately 10% each. Together, that is only 26%. The shares of feed production (47 %) and food uses (26%) are much higher. The allocation of the biomass to the target product is done only by main product. This means that there can be by-products, which are used in other sectors.

When only looking at the harvested agricultural biomass (total: 10 billions of tons), the proportions get even more distinct. While the cultivation as renewable material for material as well as for energy uses only accounts for 4% each, almost two thirds of the overall amount go into the production of feed (60%), and 32% of all harvested agricultural biomass go to a direct use as food.

If the land covered by grazing cattle is taken into account as well, the overall amount of biomass increases to approx. 14 billion tons and the share of feed production even grows to as much as 71%. Energetic and material uses of biomass only make up 3% each.

You can download graphs illustrating the distribution of biomass use worldwide in 2008 for free at www.bio-based.eu/policy

The three graphs show the distribution of biomass use in the world 2008, one case including agricultural and forestal biomass without grazing, one case including agricultural biomass without grazing and one case including agricultural biomass plus grazing.

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