• Odo Maletzki

How trees compensate CO2

How does wood capture the CO2: through photosynthesis

In the course of photosynthesis, a tree absorbs nutrients from the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air and from the water in the soil during its growth and thus builds the organic material wood. In the further process, with the help of light, the low-energy carbon dioxide molecule is broken down into a high-energy carbon atom and a high-energy oxygen molecule. The oxygen (O) is released back into the environment. The carbon (C), on the other hand, is used for the organic structure of the tree and remains bound for its entire lifespan.

Magic formula: How do you calculate the carbon storage value of wood?

250 kg C/m3 wood x 3.67 kg CO2 = 917 kg CO2

Carbon from 1 ton of CO2 is stored in 1 m3 of wood, wood consists of 50% carbon (C). Assuming an average of 500 kg (dry weight) per cubic meter of wood, this means that 1 m3 of wood contains 250 kg of C. If C is now converted (oxidized) into CO2, approx. 3.7 kg of carbon dioxide are produced from 0.9 kg of carbon.

That means: 250 kg C/m3 wood x 3.67 kg CO2 result in 917 kg, i.e. approx. 1 ton CO2 per 1 m3 wood.

Source: Arno Frühwald, University of Hamburg

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