It was not too many years ago that humans’ basic survival depended in whole or in part on the availability of biomass as a source of foodstuffs for human and animal consumption, of building materials, and of energy for heating and cooking. Not much has changed in this regard in the Third World countries since preindustrial times. But industrial societies have modified and added to this list of necessities, particularly to the energy category. Biomass is now a minor source of energy and fuels in industrialized countries. It has been replaced by coal, petroleum crude oil, and natural gas, which have become the raw materials of choice for the manufacture and production of a host of derived products and energy as heat, steam, and electric power, as well as solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. The fossil fuel era has indeed had a large impact on civilization and industrial development. But since the reserves of fossil fuels are depleted as they are consumed, and environmental issues, mainly those concerned with air quality problems, are perceived by many scientists to be directly related to fossil fuel consumption, biomass is expected to exhibit increasing usage as an energy resource and feedstock for the produc­tion of organic fuels and commodity chemicals. Biomass is one of the few renewable, indigenous, widely dispersed, natural resources that can be utilized to reduce both the amount of fossil fuels burned and several greenhouse gases emitted by or formed during fossil fuel combustion processes. Carbon dioxide, for example, is one of the primary products of fossil fuel combustion and is a greenhouse gas that is widely believed to be associated with global warming. It is removed from the atmosphere via carbon fixation by photosynthesis of the fixed carbon in biomass.