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Waste wood’s impact on CO2 emissions

Unfortunately, politicians have deemed incinerating wood to be a “green” way of creating energy. Reality of this process is that creating 1kw energy by burning wood creates more pollution than creating 1kw energy with natural gas.

As trees grow, they capture carbon. Although it varies slightly by species, wood is roughly 50% carbon by dry weight. European countries collect approximately 67-million-ton waste wood annually, and 90% of it is incinerated.

The CO2 effect of reclaimed wood incineration is:

  • take away 20% moist and we have approximately dry weight of wood, where about 50% of the weight is carbon.
    • 67 000 000-ton – 20% moist = 53 600 000ton / 2 = 26 800 000 ton of carbon

About 90 percent of this wood is incinerated

  • 26 800 000 ton of carbon x 90% = 24 120 000 ton of carbon released (a small amount is stored in ashes)
    • 24 120 000-ton carbon x 3.67 = 88 520 400 ton of CO2 released annually

For each ton of waste wood transformed into a new raw material for wood products:

  • 1000kg – 20% = 800kg /2 = 400kg carbon x3,67 = 1468kg CO2 emission reduced

General knowledge: about one ton of CO2 for every cubic meter of wood (1 m³ wood stores 1 ton CO2)

Everyone’s focus must be on creating green renewable energy from wind, hydro, solar or other processes that do not release carbon. Very few energy sources pollute as much as wood heating in private homes. We must stop treating wood incineration as a green alternative.

We should use natures carbon sequestration process to create a carbon pool in wood products (Eco Materials circularity model for wood).