Store wood in old salt mines to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere

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If trees are cut and then burned they have not reduced the CO2 in the atmosphere at all.
And if they are left in the forest and then rot 90% of their mass also go back into the atmosphere.

Here in Germany we have many old salt mines.
I wonder if it would be a good idea to cut trees and store them in the salt mines.
The salt mines could then be flooded with seawater and sealed (so they don't rot).

Would this be realizable?
 

BvU

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Why not just plant a new tree??.............seems simpler.
 
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if they are left in the forest and then rot 90% of their mass also go back into the atmosphere.
It is often difficult to make beginners understand that (old) forests does not really make oxygen // consume CO2. They just circulate it, through the sum of the biomass belonging to the forest. With removing too much wood this circulation stops and the forest dies. That 'rotting' process is needed to keep the forest going on.

Only young forests consuming CO2 while they are growing up towards their stable biomass amount.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to cut trees and store them in the salt mines.
I would propose something different and maybe: disturbing. Germany exports hundred thousand tons of plastic waste to the far east for recycling, in name at least: it is not too exaggerating to say that this has some contribution to the Pacific Ocean waste islands, since the target of this export is actually the states with highest release there.

That plastic waste contains carbon as well: instead of stuffing away perfectly good wood or exporting waste, you can safely suggest to store that up. It would also save the CO2 footprint of the transport.


By the way, about a relatively freshly proposed alternative way for getting rid of that plastic: composting.
That's a lie. Plastic is mostly made from C and H. It has no useful contribution to compost, it just disappears and releases the C to the atmosphere as CO2 (actually it is already best case if it is just CO2).
 
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If trees are cut and then burned they have not reduced the CO2 in the atmosphere at all.
And if they are left in the forest and then rot 90% of their mass also go back into the atmosphere.

Here in Germany we have many old salt mines.
I wonder if it would be a good idea to cut trees and store them in the salt mines.
The salt mines could then be flooded with seawater and sealed (so they don't rot).

Would this be realizable?
I think we're missing a trick here. 1st, as others have noted, old, rotting trees are essential for healthy forest metabolism, and as links in trophic chains feeding microbes, fungi, insects and their predators. They provide nest sites and habitat for salamanders. And as they convert to spongey mass, nurseries for future forest trees. So they're needed in those roles.

But if increasing the amount of carbon stored longterm from biomass is the objective, we need look no further than biochar. A long term carbon sequestration strategy which also feeds the soil, moderates moisture extremes and conserves nutrients, biochar is the missing 'trick' for German forest management and for countries globally. It's been ignored by too many people for too long, possibly because it is actually such a democratic technology that proponents of more high tech C capture solutions have no interest because they cannot also capture the massive subsidies directed their way for technologies they can patent and control. Same-old, same-old.
 

gleem

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Elemental carbon is an extremely stable substance. The only issue in producing biochar might be what other products are produced that might be of concern and what would be the best energy source for the process?
 
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Tons, I mean TONS of that has already been worked out over something like 20 years of testing and research by individuals and institutes around the world. Many of the other products have market value, so the economies of production are fairly strong.

Circular material strategies are important (and not just in biochar production) to capture all byproducts and not have them end up as pollution (biogas, bio oils, resins...all substrates for greener energy or greener manufacturing). Much depends on the type of kiln used, the temperature and pressure applied. It's adjustable to optimise for various qualities of char and the type and quality of byproducts.

At least some of the pyrolysis processes need very little additional energy inputs once they get started. They self-power.
 
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At least some of the pyrolysis processes need very little additional energy inputs once they get started. They self-power.
The process does produce and release some CO2 though, yes? Do you have a reference that gives some hard accounting numbers for the carbon balance? Sounds very interesting.
 
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Thank you for mentioning bio-char kindly. In addition to extensive sequestration of carbon, and improving land quality, plus easing heavy tillage, it would also serve to re-build soil depth.
 

BWV

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One easy method is to move forestry away from slow growing boreal regions to more temperate regions where trees can be farmed and much more rapidly produced. You would not need to store trees in a salt mine, just use them to build permanent structures. Also farmland is shrinking in developed countries - technological improvements in productivity result in marginal farmland becoming uneconomic. Incentives could be provided to reforest these areas.
 
As a matter of fact, hundreds of thousands of tons of "wood" is being stored in old salt mines in the USA. The wood is in the form of paper in file cabinets in deep storage.
 

BvU

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Old dutch expresssion: a drop on a hot plate
 
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Use wood for buildings instead of concrete, whose manufacture is very energy intensive.
 

BvU

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House of straw, house of sticks, house of bricks

Big bad wolves are hurricanes and earthquakes

Must concede wood is better in the latter...
 
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Burying trees in old mine shafts - provided they do not rot, is a form of sequestration.

Burying charcoal may be better.

There is literature on this at:


 
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By my humble opinion as long as there is coal mined, there is very little point in burying coal back down: especially with any effort (energy) spent on it.
 
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You may need to explain this. Burying charcoal is a 100% offset of burning a fossil fuel. You just need to bury the right quantity and take action to reduce fossil fuel consumption so that a balance is obtainable in conjunction with other provisions.
 
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You may need to explain this. Burying charcoal is a 100% offset of burning a fossil fuel. You just need to bury the right quantity and take action to reduce fossil fuel consumption so that a balance is obtainable in conjunction with other provisions.
The process of making charcoal oxidizes some carbon ; it's pretty much unavoidable. Not to say producer gas isn't really really interesting.
 
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Burying charcoal is a 100% offset of burning a fossil fuel.
The problem is exactly this part, since it is not true. Mining coal consumes energy, so is to raise and prepare that wood: to deliver it to the site and to bury it. All that activity consumes energy, and that energy - by the actual stats - will come from other fossil fuel: mostly, at least.

So to completely balance the coal mined you need to bury more charcoal than the mined amount - but wouldn't it be better then, to use the charcoal directly and leave the coal down in the mine?

In general, all this kind of 'save the planet' actions are pretty much just a dead end. The right priority is to not ruin it in the first place.
 
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Yes - you have to bury more charcoal to offset the same carbon released by fossil fuels and yes, it would be better to use charcoal directly to avoid extracting fossil fuel. You do not ruin the planet using wood, charcoal, wind, solar, or hydrogen.

This is not the point being considered. The point is that we need removal of current excess carbon that is already in the biosphere.

Did you read:


and


Burying carbon or maybe sinking it in the deep ocean seems a reasonable suggestion to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.
 
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The point is that we need removal of current excess carbon that is already in the biosphere.
We need to remove Carbon-dioxide, not Carbon. Elemental Carbon is pretty non-reactive : Do you see wooden structures evaporating ? Are there reports of pencils spontaneously combusting ?

Sequestering (as in "don't use it as fuel") carbon is a good idea, but it's not necessary to sink it into the ocean, or bury it in salt mines. Bit of a pain to retrieve if we ever need carbon in bulk.

Yes - you have to bury more charcoal to offset the same carbon released by fossil fuels and yes, it would be better to use charcoal directly to avoid extracting fossil fuel. You do not ruin the planet using wood, charcoal, wind, solar, or hydrogen.
Sorry, that makes no sense whatsoever to me. Are there words missing ?
 
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Sequestering (as in "don't use it as fuel") carbon is a good idea, but it's not necessary to sink it into the ocean, or bury it in salt mines. Bit of a pain to retrieve if we ever need carbon in bulk.



Sorry, that makes no sense whatsoever to me. Are there words missing ?
Your comment was far too vague. It seems you have not read, or digested, previous comments in this thread.

Removing carbon via trees (or any form of flora) is removing CO2.
 

Baluncore

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Burying carbon or maybe sinking it in the deep ocean seems a reasonable suggestion to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.
Something may seem reasonable in itself, but it can be seen as quite unreasonable when analysed as part of a total system. When your bath is overflowing, you can bail it with a small cup into a sink, or you can turn off the water flowing into the bath. The biggest problem is getting people to understand the bigger picture.

Your firm attachment to the simplistic idea of burying the problem is a form of denial, it is simply a distraction. It disguises the fact that the capacity to extract and bury carbon is infinitesimal when compared with the magnitude of fossil fuel extraction.

Removing carbon via trees (or any form of flora) is removing CO2.
We need organic material in soil to manage water, so we can grow more plants. Any plant carbon that we place in deep storage is a waste of energy and effort. That carbon would have been better used in the soil, or to immediately reduce coal mining. Can you not see the double-handling inefficiency of mining coal while burying trees?

We need to manufacture durable essentials from wood with character, not from short-lived toxic plastics derived from fossil fuels. We need more surface vegetation to stabilise surface temperatures. Clearing that vegetation and burying it deep is an unnecessary and wasteful process that destroys the soil structure and creates deserts. Attempting to strip the surface of vegetation to counter historical and current fossil fuel extraction, demonstrates a failure to understand the magnitude of the imbalance in the system.

One quick test of reasonableness should be, “does the action reduce fossil fuel extraction now”?
 
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Once you accuse others of denial, you remove yourself from consideration.

You need to cite refereed sources before continuing any further.
 

TeethWhitener

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We need to manufacture durable essentials from wood with character, not from short-lived toxic plastics derived from fossil fuels.
We could always bury the short lived plastics and...oh right, that’s called a landfill.
 

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