English Glossary


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barrel of oil equivalent

(BOE) the amount of energy contained in a barrel of crude oil, i.e. approx. 6.1 GJ, equivalent to 1,700 kWh.


Traditionally considered any chemical compound that, when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a pH greater than 7.0.

base case

A cash flow projection with variables measured at their expected values.

basis point

1/100 of 1%, one-hundredth of one percent, 0.0001.

basis risk

Type of risk in which the exposure and the hedging instrument are not perfectly matched or correlated.

batch feed

A process by which the digester / reactor is filled with feedstock in discrete amounts, rather than continuously.


An electric battery is a device consisting of two or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy.


Business as usual

Best Available Techniques Reference

Also "Best Available Techniques Reference Document“ or "BAT Reference“ or "BAT Reference Document". These documents are provided by the European Union and contain (among others) information on a specific industrial/agricultural sector, on the techniques and processes used in this sector, current emission and consumption levels, techniques to consider in the determination of the best available techniques and emerging techniques.

biochemical conversion

The use of biochemical processes to produce fuels and chemicals from organic sources.


Renewable energy generated from materials derived from biological sources, e.g. wood, organic waste, energy crops, agricultural residues. (Syn. biomass energy)


Biofuels are fuels which are derived from plants/biomass. The term covers liquid fuels and upgraded biogas for transportation purposes. Public and scientific interest in biofuels focusses on bioethanol and biodiesel.


Biogas is a gas produced in a decomposition process of suitable biomass utilizing micro-organisms. It is a flammable gas, as its energy carrier is methane, which is also a component of natural gas.

biological oxygen demand

The amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms in a body of water to break down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period. The term also refers to a chemical procedure for determining this amount.


Organic material from living organisms such as wood, organic waste, and agricultural residuals. Biomass can be converted into other usable forms of energy such as methane or liquid fuels (bioethanol, biodiesel).

biomass feedstock

Organic matter available on a renewable basis. Biomass includes forest and mill residues, agricultural crops and wastes, wood and wood wastes, animal wastes, livestock operation residues, aquatic plants, fast-growing trees and plants, and municipal and industrial wastes.

biomass to liquid

A process where biomass is being converted into liquid biofuel by using gasification and synthesis technologies.


Device for optimizing the anaerobic digestion of biomass and/or animal manure, and possibly to recover biogas for energy production. (Syn. digester)

black start

The procedure to recover from a total or partial shutdown of the transmission system. This entails isolated power stations being started individually and gradually being reconnected to each other.

black start capability

Ability of a power plant to help restart the grid after complete breakdown. These power plants receive their electrical supply from an auxiliary generating plant.

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