Old Wood Becomes New Coal for Utilities Embracing Carbon-Gathering Trees

Jun 3, 2009 Full story: Bloomberg 21

Wood is becoming a hot commodity in a new low-carbon world. Power companies are burning more trees because the renewable fuel can be cheaper than coal and ignited without needing permits to release carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

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MattJ

Pleasanton, CA

#1 Jun 3, 2009
Somehow, the reasoning behind the claim that burning wood instead of coal is 'green' just sounds so bogus. The carbon of coal CAME from ancient wood! And obviously, even if it hasn't happened yet, burning wood instead of coal is going to put pressure on forests, encouraging deforestation, unless there is some guarantee that for every tree burned an equal size tree is planted.

But the article makes no mention of any such guarantee, and it is hard to see how that would work, anyway.

So the European rules allowing burning trees instead of coal sound like just another mistake in their flawed cap-and-trade program.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#2 Jun 3, 2009
MattJ wrote:
Somehow, the reasoning behind the claim that burning wood instead of coal is 'green' just sounds so bogus. The carbon of coal CAME from ancient wood!
More of an early fern derivative with only small amounts of lignin to hold it together. Main point is that it is 'sequestered carbon' taken out of 'circulation' and now being put back while wood is just a new cycle.
MattJ wrote:
And obviously, even if it hasn't happened yet, burning wood instead of coal is going to put pressure on forests, encouraging deforestation, unless there is some guarantee that for every tree burned an equal size tree is planted.
Even then, expect rampand denudiation of woods as plantings fail and long lived hardwood species are replaced with fast growing poplars, etc.
MattJ

Pleasanton, CA

#3 Jun 3, 2009
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
More of an early fern derivative with only small amounts of lignin to hold it together.
You got it backwards: ancient trees had higher amounts of lignin since it was their main defense against insects. And yes, these trees ARE a major component of coal.

But this is a minor point. Yet it is interesting to note that coal formed BEFORE the evolution of the fungus that breaks down lignin, and this DOES have a major effect on coal.
Main point is that it is 'sequestered carbon' taken out of 'circulation' and now being put back while wood is just a new cycle.
But global warming is a function mostly of CO2 actually current in the atmosphere, and so it doesn't care whether that CO2 was recently sequestered or not. That is why we don't gain by subsituting carbon from wood for carbon from coal.

The only real gain we get from this is that there is more hydrogen in wood than in coal. But we could squander that gain if we allow this to encourage deforestation.
<quoted text>
Even then, expect rampand denudiation of woods as plantings fail and long lived hardwood species are replaced with fast growing poplars, etc.
And this is not good. Another reason burning wood instead of coal is not helping.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#4 Jun 3, 2009
Either way it is an example of bad regulations and bad ideas.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#5 Jun 3, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
You got it backwards: ancient trees had higher amounts of lignin since it was their main defense against insects. And yes, these trees ARE a major component of coal.
early trees had not DEVELOPED the use of lignin. It was the devopment of lignin that make the plants unpalatable to the existing insects and allowed the carboniferous plants to overgrow.

And as insects adapted, the lignin content increased to the levels we see today. Early trees had only a small amount comparatively.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#6 Jun 3, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
But global warming is a function mostly of CO2 actually current in the atmosphere, and so it doesn't care whether that CO2 was recently sequestered or not.
No. But the AMOUNT of CO2 in the air depends on how much is CIRCULATING, as in not sequestered in coal beds..

Get a grip..
MattJ

Pleasanton, CA

#7 Jun 3, 2009
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
early trees had not DEVELOPED the use of lignin.

But by the Carboniferous, they had. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carboniferous

for the details.

[QUOTE]Early trees had only a small amount comparatively.
Nope! Again, the above has:

"Some hypothesize that large quantities of wood were buried during this period because animals and decomposing bacteria had not yet evolved that could effectively digest the new lignin. Those early plants made extensive use of lignin. They had bark to wood ratios of 8 to 1, and even as high as 20 to 1. This compares to modern values less than 1 to 4. This bark, which must have been used as support as well as protection, probably had 38% to 58% lignin"

But why are you going on and on about this? What has this got to do with the carbon footprint of replacing coal with wood?
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#8 Jun 4, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope! Again, the above has:
"Some hypothesize that large quantities of wood were buried during this period because animals and decomposing bacteria had not yet evolved that could effectively digest the new lignin.
You moron. The lignin content of the WOOD was low. Not even in the bark was it that high. yes, they developed lignin and insects could not use it, so it didn't take a LOT to stop the attacks.

The majority of 'trees' of this era were overgrown ferns ( aka 'tree ferns' utilizing the new stength of lignin bonded cellulose to grow higher. Obviously dinosaurs ended up with longer necks for a reason as their food supply tried to grow 'out of reach'.

They included..

Equisetales (Horse-tails)
Sphenophyllales (vine-like plants)
Lycopodiales (club mosses)
Lepidodendrales (scale trees)
Filicales (ferns)
Medullosales (early gymnosperm groups)
Cordaitales
Cycads ( late period )

Most of their strength came from the fact that they had a LARGE diameter for their height, possibly with a relatively thick bark which contained most of the lignin ( stiffer to put strongest material on ourside of cylinder ).

The main issue though is probably not lignin vs insects, but lack of fire in the early tree ferns. Not only was the bark hard to start, but the steamy swamps would have make starting a fire hard even with 35% oxygen content. Note that the reference http://cat.inist.fr/... suggests that the high lignin content of early bark compared to later may have been associated with higher carbonisation of early coals while the large desposits of later coals were due to the introduction of angiosperms with lower lignin content but higher productivity.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#9 Jun 4, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
But why are you going on and on about this? What has this got to do with the carbon footprint of replacing coal with wood?
It seems in your nature to keep arguing regardless of merit. This works only when you actually have the right end of the stick but makes you look stupid when you keep arguing about things you don't understand.
MattJ

Pleasanton, CA

#10 Jun 4, 2009
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
It seems in your nature to keep arguing regardless of merit.
Since YOU are the one going on and on about it, on a topic that has SO little to do with the thread, don't be too surprised when more impartial observers reach the conclusion that it is is YOUR nature to do this.
Earthling

Huécija, Spain

#11 Jun 4, 2009
It's really nice to see two Warmists getting along so well, LOL.
MattJ

Pleasanton, CA

#12 Jun 4, 2009
Earthling wrote:
It's really nice to see two Warmists getting along so well, LOL.
Both of us are so exapserating at dealing with your nonsense, such friction was inevitable.
Earthling

San Javier, Spain

#13 Jun 4, 2009
MattJ wrote:
Both of us are so exapserating
Agreed!

Except it should have been, exasperated.

Go get some sleep.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#14 Jun 5, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Both of us are so exapserating at dealing with your nonsense, such friction was inevitable.
That is the problem with fantasies. Yours rarely matches your neighbor.
Earthling

Huécija, Spain

#15 Jun 6, 2009
tina anne wrote:
That is the problem with fantasies. Yours rarely matches your neighbor.
I think we should be happy in the sure and certain knowledge that more and more people are becoming sceptical of the more political than scientific hoax that is being perpetrated by this latest scam that has sucked in a dwindling number of fanatics.

I'm waiting for the day when one Warmist here at Topix is man/woman enough to admit they have realised they have been duped, but I doubt that any one of them would have the guts to do that, even considering the anonymity of the internet.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#16 Jun 6, 2009
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>I think we should be happy in the sure and certain knowledge ..
Your delusions are not interesting. The science has yet to be challenged. When and if you can, go for it. Until then, your voice has little meaning, like the town drunk or the guy on the bus that periodically shouts something (turettes? drunk?).
Earthling

San Javier, Spain

#17 Jun 6, 2009
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
Your delusions are not interesting. The science has yet to be challenged. When and if you can, go for it. Until then, your voice has little meaning, like the town drunk or the guy on the bus that periodically shouts something (turettes? drunk?).
Similarly, your delusions are of no interest to the majority.
The science has been challenged, but you ignore it.

The word is tourettes, but I'm not surprised you're unable to spell it.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#18 Jun 7, 2009
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
Your delusions are not interesting. The science has yet to be challenged. When and if you can, go for it. Until then, your voice has little meaning, like the town drunk or the guy on the bus that periodically shouts something (turettes? drunk?).
What makes your stubbon clinging to a failed idea any more interesting to the rest. AGW is a concept that has run it's course and is now sinking from sight for another half century. In a decade people like youreslef will refuse to admit you supported the idea and in several decades you will be supporting whatever fancy term they have for global cooling while calling AGW hogwash that was never supported by the sceintific community and using the same references I have to try and shout down whoever is trying to call for moderation.

Face it your the rebel without a cause.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#19 Jun 8, 2009
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>
The word is tourettes, but I'm not surprised you're unable to spell it.
Funny how you focus on typos and not on facts.
LessHypeMoreFact

Etobicoke, Canada

#20 Jun 8, 2009
tina anne wrote:
<quoted text>
What makes your stubbon clinging to a failed idea ..
The climate scientists, scientific journals and science organizations do not recognise your authority to change or deny AGW theory.

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