• Vaclav Smil
Part of the Modern Perspectives in Energy book series (MPIE)


Life on this planet can be seen simply as a seemingly endless variation of carbon compounds. Biomass is basically a dispersion of carbonaceous matter in water—upon dehydration, about 45% of it, a share much higher than that of any other element, is carbon. Even in the biosphere taken as a whole, with its enormous stores of ocean water, carbon accounts for one-quarter of all atoms and shares second place with oxygen (hydrogen atoms are, obviously, most abundant).


Fossil Fuel Crop Residue Emission Factor Gross Primary Productivity Fossil Fuel Combustion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vaclav Smil
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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