Wednesday, August 19, 2015
How does wood burning differ from burning fossil fuels?
The news is full of reports about the need to reduce the production of the so-called greenhouse gases.
When their atmospheric concentration increases, these gases, mainly carbon dioxide, cause the average global temperature to rise with potentially disastrous results.
Fuel burning is the main cause of the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Wood, however, differs from the fossil fuels such as oil and gas because it is a renewable fuel.
As a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and stores it in the wood as carbon. This carbon makes up about half of the weight of wood.
When wood is burned, carbon dioxide is released again to the atmosphere. The same amount of carbon dioxide would be released if the tree died and were left to rot on the forest floor. Our forests can be a perpetual source of fuel, provided they are cared for and managed properly.