Producing chemicals and materials from biomass instead of fossil resources is a much more complicated process. The biomass itself contains many different substances and, in order to use it in optimally, its composition needs to be analyzed and fractionated. Biomass can originate from several different sources such as crops, or waste from agriculture and the forestry industry. It can also be generated as a byproduct of the food industry, waste from households, waste from abattoirs, and more. Therefore, understanding the chemistry of ‘biomass’ is an ongoing, complex task.
Plant genomics is a field of study aiming to map the full genome of important species of plants. The knowledge gained from plant genomics can be used, amongst other things, to find the species with the best properties for growing within certain conditions, or to find species that contain large amounts of desired substances (e.g., a high content of sugar).