Analyzing Carbon Storage in Wood

Analyzing Carbon Storage in Wood

December 9, 2021

Global warming is real, and carbon emission is the main suspect. Fossil fuel emits 21,3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year into the air, polluting the air and corroding the atmosphere. One way to reduce its effect is by utilizing carbon storage in wood.

The concept of carbon storage in wood is simple: forests are like sponges to carbon. When a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen and trapping carbon. 

The carbon only leaks to the outside world when the tree decays, rots, or burns. Since it is a natural process, the carbon will eventually return to nature.

However, when the wood is processed into man made products, its lifespan is extended and can be recycled to other forms, effectively trapping carbon for much longer. Thus, the carbon inside the wood stays inside until the wood waste returns to nature.

Of course, to maintain the carbon storage, wood products must be maintained to keep their condition. The longer a wood product exists, the longer carbon resides in it.

Imagine this: a tonne of carbon needs 2,67 tonnes of oxygen to fully develop into CO2. It means that 3,67 tonnes of CO2 is created in this calculation. If trees can absorb such an amount of carbon, then CO2 cannot form and pollute the environment.

Going along with the calculation above, we can surmise that carbon storage in wood can be an alternative to reduce the effect of global warming.

The research on carbon storage in wood is certainly interesting. Wood is the only building material to absorb carbon. Moreover, wood production emits very little greenhouse gas.

Carbon storage in wood has been researched many times to maximize the carbon trapped in wood.

For example, a research comparing three types of wood products (Oriented Strand Board/OSB, Medium Density Fiberboard/MDF, and Particle Board/PB) found out that MDF has the highest capacity of carbon storage, about 700 kg/m2 of CO2.

Overall, carbon storage in wood remains an option in creating a better future. Kayu Lapis Indonesia is in line with this goal, creating the best wood products while maintaining the forests’ sustainability.