OT: Chatham House study reveals biomass not as carbon neutral as thought

http://tinyurl.com/hhywhfk and http://tinyurl.com/gmg568e
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Chris

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Bit article about it in the Times today, too.
And a lament on BBCR4Today yesterday morning about how many studies in the biotech area are not reproducible - meaning that any results they purport to give are worthless.
The reasons range from peer pressure, pressure on journals to be at the cutting edge, "tidying up" of data, pressure on funding bodies to be seen to be getting results - all the usual rubbish which we have seen elsewhere (can't for the life of me think where though, at the minute).
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wrote:

but is the problem one that it doesn't work in principle
or merely because we are burning stuff that has come from too far away and has caused more pollution being transported than we are saving
but then we have to add in the "cost" of transportation for the alternative fuels that we would have used
tim
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wrote:

I've not read the papers line by line, but AIUI the argument is that felling and shredding actual trees for biomass fuel, as opposed to using just saw-mill waste and trimmings, increases the CO2 content of the atmosphere in the short term, while re-growth only reduces it in the long term. It takes only a few weeks/months to fell a tree, shred it and burn it, whereas it can take many decades, possibly centuries, to re-grow a tree of the same size.
Shreddings and saw-mill waste left to rot on the forest floor produce CO2 over a timescale comparable to that for combustion, so don't contribute to atmospheric CO2 over a different time-scale to burning.
Each of the two links I gave has in turn a link to a PDF of the actual papers, near the bottoms of the respective pages. http://tinyurl.com/joukm5v and http://tinyurl.com/zf9ltrw
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On 23/02/17 14:32, Chris Hogg wrote:

Don't they also produce methane which is far far worse as a greenhouse gas?
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wrote:

Possibly, but I associate methane production with anaerobic decomposition, for example inside peat bogs or in the bottom of stagnant ponds (see marsh gas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsh_gas ). Shreddings left to rot in the open air wouldn't produce much, I don't think, but I may be wrong.
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On 23/02/2017 18:42, Tim Watts wrote:

In the short term methane is a worse GHG but in an oxygen rich atmosphere it has a relatively short half life before it becomes CO2.
I agree that it makes sense to burn saw mill waste locally, but not to plant and chop down forests ship them half way round the world to meet some renewable target obsession. Wood is just not energy dense enough!
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On 23/02/17 14:03, tim... wrote:

No. What we have to do is simply use a free market. If wood costs more than coal, chances are there is more energy and labour involved ion producing it.
So burn coal instead.
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On Friday, 24 February 2017 04:40:41 UTC, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Coal ash and combustion products is far more toxic than wood ash.
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On Friday, February 24, 2017 at 4:40:41 AM UTC, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

xxx

But 'free market' costs dont include the costs of the pollution, cleaning up the waste, and the flooding of low lying areas where many cities are... [g]
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On Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:04:23 UTC, tim... wrote:

Drivel. Where do you suppose our coal comes from? https://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/2016/10/01/where-does-uk-energy-come-from/
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On Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:26:58 -0800 (PST), harry

Well, apart from that link being absurdly short on specifics, you've just advanced a very strong argument in favour of fracking.
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wrote:

Poland :-)
tim
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On 26/02/17 19:09, tim... wrote:

Does it? I had assumed USA...

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On Sunday, 26 February 2017 19:10:17 UTC, tim... wrote:

The USA and Russia. So transport issues are the same for coal and pellets.
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On Mon, 27 Feb 2017 06:46:22 -0800 (PST), harry

Absolutely not. Coal is much more energy dense than wood pellets, so you get far more coal per shipload than you get for wood pellets. Or putting it another way, you need more shiploads of wood pellets than coal to get the same amount of energy, shit-fer-brains.
Coal import data for 2015 from here: http://tinyurl.com/zkmarrr (annual tab and types of coal summed)
            kilo-Tonnes European Union            614 Australia            910 Canada                334 China                23 Colombia            7,070 Republic of South Africa    317 Russia                9,187 USA                5,317 Other countries            427
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On 23/02/2017 08:53, Chris Hogg wrote:

Its not exactly new. Anyone except harry can see that cutting down forests and burning them is not carbon neutral in any real meaning of the word.
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On 23/02/2017 15:59, dennis@home wrote:

What if you take a patch of barren land and grow something that's fast growing - willow for example - that grows for say 3 years before you cut it down and burn it?
Is that reasonably carbon neutral?
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On 23/02/2017 17:08, GB wrote:

That depends on how its planted and harvested.
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On 23/02/17 17:08, GB wrote:

Probably. But its rotten firewood.
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