A distinction is made between dry woody biomass and moist biomass with a low wood content. Forms of dry woody biomass include forest and hedgerow wood, waste wood and solid waste from trade and industry and private households. Gasification is suitable for farmyard manure (liquid manure and dung), harvest residue and biogenic waste from the foodstuffs and catering industries, and from private households. There are usually several ways to process specific types of biomass. The most suitable conversion technology depends on the type, composition and the desired final energy product (heat, electricity or fuel). For example, dry lignocellulosic (woody) biomass products are usually processed in thermal or thermochemical processes (combustion, gasification), while less woody, moist biomass is more likely to be processed using bio-chemical conversion pathways (fermentation).
In Switzerland, energy crops (i.e. crops that are cultivated solely for the purpose of producing energy) are of minor importance.