Locale : North America (English)
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Front view of the plant in the day


Biomass refers to biological material that can be used as fuel as gas, liquid or in its solid form.

Burning biomass can be a clean way of generating electricity.

Most commonly, biomass refers to plant matter, but it also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibers, chemicals, or heat. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel. Production of biomass is becoming a competitive form of renewable energy.

Burning biomass can be a clean way of generating electricity and is often called "carbon neutral." Carbon released into the atmosphere when the material is burned is equivalent to the amount absorbed by the plant during its growth cycle.


We have worked with the following biomass materials:

  • Clean wood
  • Treated wood
  • Straw
  • Rice husks
  • Bagasse
  • Chicken and turkey litter
  • Chicken feathers
  • Coffee bean waste
  • Food waste
  • Sewage sludge
  • Secondary recovered fuels


Mott MacDonald's experience ranges from market studies of biomass feedstock to due diligence and feasibility studies to technical support and guidance on the design and development of biomass plants.

Our consultants are familiar with local planning and permitting issues to help our clients, who include governments, regulators, investors, lenders, owners, and suppliers.

Our capabilities include these:

  • Acquisition due diligence (financial, contractual, and technical aspects)
  • Candidate selection
  • Conceptual design and specification
  • Contract review including power purchase agreements, heat supply agreements, fuel supply agreements, carbon credits, operation and maintenance agreements, and long-term service agreements
  • Data collection
  • Feasibility studies
  • Health and safety, environmental, and social reviews
  • Fuel supply chain analysis
  • Market studies (feedstock and end use markets)
  • Planning and permitting
  • Preparation of minimum functional specification
  • Review of financial models and projected performance
  • Review of project interfaces and infrastructure
  • Site selection
  • Tender review and bid negotiations

Customer benefits

  • Use of clean cut wood
  • Use of biomass from food processing (eg. straw, coffee beans)

Savings/value added

  • Additional revenue
  • Waste management

Selected project examples

  • UK
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • South Africa
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