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TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2019, 01:05:04 AM »
Fire Power
What if the answer to California's wildfire woes is more fire?
https://grist.org/article/why-california-is-fighting-fire-with-fire/
Quote
These wood-fired plants produce what’s known as biomass energy. Biomass is just the general term for grass, dung, corn, or anything else containing energy (soaked up from sunlight) stored in chains of carbon (soaked up from the air). By burning biomass, you release the sun’s energy in the form of heat and light. But you also release its carbon back into the atmosphere.

That’s one of the reasons it’s controversial as hell. Environmentalists have long fought to block biomass power plants. Turning trees into electricity seems to violate the basic tenets of tree hugging. There’s a thorny debate over whether biomass energy can really be considered clean or renewable. But there’s no doubt that biomass plants can be environmental disasters when run improperly. After all, producing electricity by burning wood produces more carbon and pollution per kilowatt than burning coal, the Sierra Club points out. The group’s California branch recently plastered billboards with the anti-biomass message, “A tree is a great life source, not an energy source.” Which makes the fact that some deep-green activists are campaigning to build wood-burning power plants in their own backyards all the more surprising.

In fact burning wood is ~twice as dirty as burning coal.
If we can't meet our growing need want for electricity from clean sources - hydro, wind, solar or even nuclear, why not make up the shortage by burning only the cleanest of the dirty alternatives?


Much CH4 or methane is hopefully now being flared to transform it into less damaging CO2. If this was instead piped to a nearby generator it could then be used locally or captured by the grid, and would allow less coal or diesel to be burned. Even if the smaller generators were not as efficient as the Mega Plants now in use, the net result would be a cleaner, more diffuse grid and fewer miles of possibly leaking pipe connections.
The balance can be used for heating, industrial purposes and Peaker Plants.


Trees are for growing, not for burning. Don't throw another log on the fire.
Methane needs to be burned. Why not use it as productively as possible?
Terry

sidd

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2019, 02:37:53 AM »
Re: Trees are for growing, not for burning.

Horses for courses.

Whatcha want my neighbour to do with the dozen ash trees he took out because of ash borer ?
He's gonna burn them.

But he's planting nut trees.

sidd

gerontocrat

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2019, 12:41:01 PM »
I have always said that the trouble with biomass (wood, palm-oil, corn, sugarcane) is that the original idea was to soak up waste and excess capacity, and what inevitably happens is that a new industry or three grows beyond that to contribute to environmental destruction.

“It’s impossible to believe coal companies when they argue that the switch to burning forests could be good for the climate”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/16/converting-coal-plants-to-biomass-could-fuel-climate-crisis-scientists-warn
Converting coal plants to biomass could fuel climate crisis, scientists warn
Experts horrified at large-scale forest removal to meet wood pellet demand

Quote
Plans to shift Europe’s coal plants, including the giant Drax complex in North Yorkshire, to burn wood pellets instead could accelerate rather than combat climate crisis and lay waste to forests equal to half the size of Germany’s Black Forest per year, according to campaigners.

Climate thinktank Sandbag said the heavily subsidised plans to cut carbon emissions will result in a “staggering” amount of tree cutting, potentially destroying forests faster than they can regrow.

Sandbag found that Europe’s 10 largest biomass conversion projects will alone require 36m tonnes of wood pellets every year, equal to the entire current global wood pellet production. This would require forests covering 2,700 sq km to be cut down every year, the equivalent of half the Black Forest in Germany.

The majority of wood pellets to be used at Drax, and much of the plants in the rest of Europe are imported from the US and Canada, “meaning that there’s a huge added environmental cost in transporting the wood from the other side of the Atlantic,” said the report’s author, Charles Moore.

The planned biomass conversions – with Finland, Germany and Netherlands leading the way – would emit 67m tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere which would be unlikely to be reabsorbed by growing trees over the timescales relevant to meeting the Paris agreement, warned Sandbag.

In return, the forest-hungry power plants would produce less than 2% of the EU’s electricity needs, the same generation capacity built in Europe every year by wind and solar farm developers.

“It’s impossible to believe coal companies when they argue that the switch to burning forests could be good for the climate,” Moore said.

Quote
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/apr/02/eu-renewable-energy-target-biomass
This article is more than 7 years old
EU carbon target threatened by biomass 'insanity'

Renewable energy targets are driving tree-cutting for biomass energy – and may cause Europe to miss its 2020 carbon target
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TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2019, 08:35:20 PM »
On site wood pellets are almost as clean as local coal when measured as GHG/BTU or GHG/kWh. Using wood for domestic heating is bad, using wooden pellets shipped 1/2 way around the world to generate dirty electricity is insane. :P


Germany seems intent on selling or giving her forested land away for industrial development. Perhaps these trees could be pelletized, then burned to generate a (tiny) fraction of the electricity that her developing EV industry will require. ::)


The 3 saplings per mature tree that "the pedo guy" is promising will never make up for the CO2 that the forest has been capturing, even in Musk Years. If Elon is aware of this he's a grifter. If he isn't, then perhaps Kimbal really is the bright one. :-\


Terry

Florifulgurator

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2019, 10:24:21 PM »
Germany seems intent on selling or giving her forested land away for industrial development.
As a German grand old grand forester (forgot name) explained it:
Germany now has the real Waldsterben (and nobody takes note) unlike the eponymous Waldsterben of the 1980ies (when everybody panicked).

Quote
Perhaps these trees could be pelletized, then burned to generate a (tiny) fraction of the electricity that her developing EV industry will require. ::)
NOPE!!!. :)
Do not f#ing burn it completely, but produce biochar and dump the char enriched with CAFO effluent in situ to re-build the f#ing forest soil. (Which nobody took care of in the last 200y of German eponymous "sustainable forestry".)

One trivial idea would be to erect temporary wood chip fired wood gas turbine power plants (ask Austrian egineers - but the Chinese will also be soon up to it), with some govt & EU emergency funding - which could even pay in the long term (carbon marketing anyf#ingbody? Ask Graciela C.). That could be a win-win for the f#ing carbon cycle (a multitethered biomass issue) plus the many troubled forest owners.

Someone please explain this to Prof Quaschning!
 :-\ :'(
Maybe it could even help Angela M (Klimapillepallekanzlerin) to get rid of brown coal a bit earlier? (Distributed baseload generation? Just saying...)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 10:43:54 PM by Florifulgurator »
Google image search on my avatar image gives "wood". In fact it is the lower part of David Hilbert's tombstone.

TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2019, 01:07:52 AM »
I'm still of the opinion that trees should be nurtured and allowed to grow.
In a documentary on aged Redwoods in California they explained that the trees continue to sequester more CO2/day each day of their life. Planting hundreds of saplings today won't sequester anywhere near as much CO2 as a single mature tree does, at least not until many decades (centuries)? have passed.


Cutting into a forest harms everyone for generations. Germany must have "rust belts" that could have been utilized instead of building where a forest was attempting to regenerate itself.


I wonder what Gretta would say.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #56 on: December 17, 2019, 07:25:24 AM »
Re: Using wood for domestic heating is bad

Horses for courses. I got more wood than i know what to do with at the farm just from keeping trails open. And a few wood stoves.  My neighbour has a giant wood burning boiler that he built himself that gives him heated hot water for a barn and his house and process heat for other stuff. And he's just like me, all wood from treefalls. If he didnt his heat would be from propane, fuel oil or coal.

These days both of us groan when we see a tree down where we have to deal with it. His back ain't what it used to be and neither are various joints of mine.

sidd

nanning

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #57 on: December 17, 2019, 08:31:53 AM »
Hi sidd (and Bruce), this is a perfect opportunity for cooperation. Share the farm, share the costs, share the labour, share the living space. Build a commune of your liking. I would be more than willing to participate and I'm physically able, high morality and low needs and wants. I wish I could play an instrument. for some music. Of course I can whistle.

Wood maybe readily available for burning without having to cut or coppice, but it gives a lot of airpollution and GHG. Why not throw the wood in the woods? Good for insects and other wildlife. It is natural to have a lot of dead wood in forests. But of couse you likely know that already.
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TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #58 on: December 17, 2019, 11:25:42 AM »
sidd
If a neighbor's property included an abandoned coal mine with enough coal to heat his house & keep the hot tub steaming year round, but not enough for commercial exploitation, would you encourage him to expand his gleaning? Even if propane or fuel oil were his only other choices?


If his abandoned coal mine was surrounded by forest would you advise him to burn his gleaned coal, his windfallen wood, or to use (relatively) clean burning CH4 to heat his property?


Burning fuel that's available on the property certainly makes sense financially, and I recognise that both yourself and Bruce have been far better stewards of the environment than I've ever been. I feel foolish asking more of you when I do so little myself, but any neighbor capable of building a wood fired boiler is certainly capable of building solar water heaters.


Old growth logs that fell through Great Lakes ice after harvesting are now captured after laying underwater for centuries. The very tight grains are appreciated in some applications, but the point is that the carbon sequestered over hundreds of years of growth is still sequestered centuries after they were felled.


Wind felled wood can be left where if fell in some cases. Otherwise it can be buried, or left to waterlog and sink in a pond if it's of no other use. A friend identified a wooden bead at a paleo site in southern Ontario. A tiny piece, but indicative of how long wood can be preserved in damp clay.


Terry

Florifulgurator

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2019, 04:31:28 PM »
I'm still of the opinion that trees should be nurtured and allowed to grow.
In a documentary on aged Redwoods in California they explained that the trees continue to sequester more CO2/day each day of their life. Planting hundreds of saplings today won't sequester anywhere near as much CO2 as a single mature tree does, at least not until many decades (centuries)? have passed.
[...]
Terry
I was talking about dying forests (actually monoculture plantations from yestercentury). We ( :) Germany) can leave our old plantations to die and rot away, emitting a century worth of carbon, plus some methane... Or we can take half of the wood and fixate half its carbon in biochar - while harvesting a lot of energy. And this biochar (soaked in manure, plus mulch from not harvested dead trees) can be used to build good new forest soil for a revived real forest. Thus total carbon fixation can be doubled. Spruce plantation "forest" soil is depleted and acidic.

------------------------
[...] My neighbour has a giant wood burning boiler that he built himself that gives him heated hot water for a barn and his house and process heat for other stuff. And he's just like me, all wood from treefalls. If he didnt his heat would be from propane, fuel oil or coal.

These days both of us groan when we see a tree down where we have to deal with it. His back ain't what it used to be and neither are various joints of mine.

sidd
Soon there will be electric wood chippers... If your neighbor wants to become the greenest guy with the coolest hot tub of the country, then he just needs to make biochar with his excesses.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 04:57:53 PM by Florifulgurator »
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2019, 05:50:12 PM »
Quote
Once [plants] die, almost all of the carbon that they stored up in their bodies is released again into the atmosphere.
http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=826

The carbon in sensitively harvested local wood (for example, 'naturally' fallen trees) will end up in the atmosphere faster if burned, but it will end up there anyway.  Better this fuel than any fossil fuel (almost always)!

I'd say, seal the coal mine so the coal doesn't oxidize (burn) and keep those trail ('fuel breaks') edges well trimmed and neighboring woods deadwood-free.  Some wood stoves have particulate filters.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #61 on: December 17, 2019, 06:09:52 PM »
Whether we are talking compost, mulch, bio char or just letting things rot naturally we can expect different emissions of CO2 ,methane and Nitrous oxides, depending on the temperature and moisture of the remineralization process.
 Feedstock is IMO hugely important . Trees take a long time to grow but algae or crops like Azolla can result in higher biomass production very quickly.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-the-fern-that-cooled-the-planet-do-it-again/
 Sinking carbon
  I am a farmer so I have a use for compost or mulch and although it helps my crops and provides benefits to fungi and soil biota most of the carbon returns to the atmosphere pretty quickly. Forests are deeply rooted and carbon sequestered deep in the soil stays there a little longer. BioChar longer still   but how do we farm a fast growing crop like Azolla and then sink the largest amount of carbon for the longest amount of time with the least amount( ideally none )  of fossil fuel energy consumed in the lifecycle process.
 So if I were to design a farm around sinking carbon. Grow Azolla , use it to do three things.
1. Compost to keep soil heathy
2. Feed livestock for food and beast of burden.
3. With thousands of other cooperating farmers send millions of tons of Azolla into ocean anaerobic basins. Somehow remove the phosphorus for reuse before you sink it along with the carbon.
 If a farmers job was sinking carbon farms and farm plans would look very different. Crops would look different . If society designed efficient ways to sink carbon they would figure out how to pay for carbon sinks . We currently pay to pump them, burn them ,mine them , and till them .
 
Carbon credits should go to farms/ aquaculture that can produce carbon that can be weighed and efficiently sunk. Although this isn’t being done it isn’t a total fantasy either. There are all the required parts of the proposal within fifty miles of my farm. Boats and a harbor, an anaerobic basin, farmland and freshwater resources, infrastructure to connect the farms with the ships/ barges .

Nanning , If communes were designed around carbon efficiency or ideally around the moral tenets of yeoman carbon farmers I’d be all in. For now I will feed the pigs on the thirty tons of winter squash I gleaned, a few hundred pounds of acorns  and the ration of barley I have to buy. That is I could feed quite a few humans with my current forage activities but it might be rather a bland diet. The tax man would still want his tally.

 

TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2019, 06:28:27 PM »
I've never really looked into biochar. I've scampered through abandoned beehive charcoal ovens, and I understood some of the history of charcoal's manufacture and use in gold & silver mining operations in the American Southwest at one time, but biochar skipped under my radar.


If it's half as good as some would have us believe, then it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Every (rural)? municipality should be producing mountains of the stuff & every publication from 'Mother Jones' to 'Country Living' should be devoting issues to its manufacture and use.


While I haven't kept up with either publication, I have noted that not everyone is convinced that biochar is the answer to so many of our agricultural problems. It's been popularised for at least 50 years, so I'd think that the time for test plots has passed & that if it made noticeable improvements to crop yields, Agro-Industry would have adapted it to their needs.


I'll undoubtedly regret this, but can you explain to this city dweller why biochar has remained a niche product/technique for all of these decades.
Terry

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #63 on: December 17, 2019, 06:46:05 PM »
I can do an internet search...
Biochar 101: Climate Savior or False Hope? (2017)
DeSmog Blog ("Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science")
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 07:11:02 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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El Cid

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #64 on: December 17, 2019, 08:31:00 PM »
Flori is right.
1) german monoculture forests are unhealthy because they are monocultures and because their soil is often terrible (and these two are not independent of each other)
2) biochar is a good long term solution to sequester carbon plus improving the soil

I wonder though whether taking the wood to a factory and taking the char back to the forest and burying it is not extremely unefficient?!

Based on the studies I read, biochar is a good solution for the tropics where you have extreme leaching from the soil but not necessarily useful in temperate climates. Anyway, it seems that you need to "preload" it with nutrients/microorganism before burying to be effective (eg. soaking it in urine or compost, etc).

be cause

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #65 on: December 17, 2019, 09:34:34 PM »
hard to beat growing hemp and then locking all that lovely carbon away in low cost building materials with natural insulation properties built in . It seems a no-brainer  . b.c.
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P-maker

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #66 on: December 17, 2019, 11:34:43 PM »
Hi Bruce, Terry and El Cid

Appreciate your interest in this issue. A number of years ago I envisioned the "Giant Beaver" operation on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The idea was to turn all the dead pines into wood chips and use these (in a helicopter sling operation) to fuel energy plants in the US.

In the meantime, we have seen "Waldsterben" in Germany and raging bushfires in Australia. We have also seen an explosion in wood pill burners in Europe.

All these unplanned CO2-emitters have made it clear that we need to move faster in order to sequester carbon from dead wood.

The "Giant Biochar Booster" is a completely different kettle of fish. In some instances, you may imagine a grand, self-propelling machine making rounds on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Black Forest or the Blue Mountains. The machine should digest dead logs, forestry residues or excessive undergrowth. The biochar produced should go into the ground in situ, and the pyrolyses products should drive the whole thing forward.

For those countries suffering from excessive marine pollution, a similar "Giant Seaweed Digester" should be developed and deployed along the beaches suffering from euthrophication.

In this way, there would be no need to grow Azolla or hemp or whatever you think is needed.

Just let the dead biomass do the job, let it be buried where it lands, and let the farmers alone. They will never contribute to the biochar solution, unless they are paid the risk premium of polluting their soils with PAHs, heavy metals and the like.



sidd

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2019, 02:04:20 AM »
Re: solar hot water

we got a buncha those ... but we need more and hotter heat ...

If we left the wood on the ground  the carbon would wind up in the air in a few years. Burning gets it in there faster. I think i mebbe use about 1% of all available wood from tree falls. If it aint on a trail or a road or on farmed area, i leave it. Well, not always, i think in the last ten years we pulled out about half a dozen good looking walnut, maple and red oak trees from the middle of the woods, buddy got a sawmill on a trailer up and we made some fine looking boards. I am sitting on some furniture from one of them right now.

Re:  abandoned coal mine with enough coal to heat his house & keep the hot tub steaming year round, but not enough for commercial exploitation, would you encourage him

Let me expand on that for you. One valley over on the south and three valleys over to the north there were huge coal mines, few active today. The tipping piles poison the water to this day. Look around Shamokin, PA on the satmap of your choice. A great many families still use coal for heat.

I have neighbours, two older ladies with very little income who live in a structure that began as a log cabin more than a century ago, and modernized slightly since then. Their heat source is coal. Every month or so in winter, somebody from the neighbourhood shows up there and dumps a bunch of coal in their scuttle. Sometimes that somebody  is me.

No hot tub.

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2019, 10:42:41 PM »
sidd
When Hurricane Hazel's winds swept through in 1954 a ~2' diameter tree fell across a mill stream that we had to cross to get to a favored fishing spot. It promptly became a makeshift bridge for the village kids.


Some 60 years later the mill & millrace are gone, the trout stream dried up and the fields became subdivisions - but the log is still there & still supports the (much) increased weight of a kid who had used it when his age was but a single digit. I've no doubt that it will still act as a bridge a hundred years from now - baring a fire, or removal for gentrification of the region.


A local beaver family stripped the branches for a now dried up beaver lodge a way down stream, but the remains of that lodge are still extant after 50+ years.


Most of the stump fences that dated from land clearing ~1810 are gone, but I suspect this had more to do with land made unusable because of the width of stump fences than the stumps finally rotting away. Those remaining can still segregate cattle, or mark property boundaries.


With no thought toward preservation this aged wood retains most of its carbon for centuries, unless someone decides that burning it makes sense.
Terry


BTW - I might be inclined to donate an unwanted propane stove (and fuel) to the old ladies presently burning coal. Not as aesthetically pleasing perhaps, but much less pollution.

sidd

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #69 on: December 19, 2019, 08:11:10 AM »
In PA there is too much rain for wood not to rot ...

The ladies cant change their heat. The reasons are complex, shant go into them. If they could change, we woulda done it years ago. Suffice it to say that the house will be condemned after they leave, which will probably be feet first.

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #70 on: December 19, 2019, 12:40:37 PM »
I wish the ladies well. :)


We've lots of rain in Ontario also. I've no idea why at least some of the downed trees/stumps haven't rotted away. In the desert this was expected, but I've seen large logging weirs that were built when Nova Scotia was being logged out that are still standing, unfinished log cabins still standing in Southern Ontario and a local fishing weir that predated European settlement halted construction on a road expansion not a mile from my apartment.


Perhaps colder winters? Though I don't think winters here are much different from winters in Pa. Split rail fences made from cedar seem to last forever, as do redwood structures in Southern California, even along the coast, but these are particular woods less susceptible to insects.


Wood will eventually give up its carbon, but eucalyptus woodlots in California that were planted to feed steam locomotives before coal took over are still extant. When not burned the carbon they've captured stays sequestered for a considerable time, then some portion is returned to the soil, not the atmosphere.


Cheers
Terry

nanning

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #71 on: December 19, 2019, 01:49:16 PM »
Thanks for that reasoning Terry.

Just some layman's (me) stupid ideas:
Could it be that microorganism extinctions have collapsed microorganisms' ecosystems?
Is it a case of lost symbioses with insects because insect numbers are too low? Missing crucial insects?
Perhaps fungi ecosystems collapse because of degraded soil and 'missing links'?

Is anyone studying the 'small stuff'? Changes there are to be expected everywhere in an interconnected web of ecosystems.
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kassy

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #72 on: December 19, 2019, 02:19:26 PM »
Well they are discussing historically different response of wood rot in broadly similar locations so it is something else.

PS: Most people don´t care about the really small stuff but there is an intriguing forest under the forest which of course gets damaged by clear cutting everything above. We should just cut some trees from the forest not cut the forest itself. And of course also leave some dead wood standing because it is also a home to many creatures.
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TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #73 on: December 19, 2019, 02:48:04 PM »
nanning
This region was scraped clean when the glaciers swept through. Lots of insects, even earthworms disappeared and only recently made a return. It's possible that some organism that speeds rot is missing.


I've spent little time in the US except for desert and coastal locations so it's not impossible that in Pa. or similar locations wood disintegrates more rapidly than here. Do old, exposed wooden structures have much staying power in the Netherlands? In Southern California it's mainly termites that chew up the wood so redwood structures remain for centuries. Here wooden framed buildings are still viable 200 years after they were built. Very old barns that have never been painted still stand until a developer chops them down.
I'd visited an aged wood sawmill in Indiana that was very long in the tooth, but that again was further north than Pa.
I recall photos of Roman mileage markers in England that had suffered fairly extensive rot, but that were still standing.
Wood obviously isn't a permanent solution for carbon storage, but burning it just as obviously releases all of the carbon directly into the atmosphere, and it's dirtier than coal/btu - much dirtier.
Terry




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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #74 on: December 19, 2019, 04:31:57 PM »
TerryM, IIRC the earthworms had to be brought in by Man.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #75 on: December 19, 2019, 05:00:08 PM »
On my New Hampshire property, I 'discovered' (mid-1980s) numerous 'dirt pile and depression' features on a ridge (all with the same alignment).  Very few had remnants of the tree that had been blown down.  (Each depression was where the [growing] root-ball had been, the pile was where the [uprooted] root-ball ended up.)  As best I can tell, these trees (mostly beech, but other hardwoods and pine, too) were blown down during a storm in 1933 or 1938. [Link just supports info I learned from locals back then.]  Certainly, the type of wood matters, as well as how much it is in contact with the ground [edit: to determine how long it will last in the woods].
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 08:28:53 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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nanning

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #76 on: December 19, 2019, 06:59:35 PM »
Quote from: TerryM
Do old, exposed wooden structures have much staying power in the Netherlands?

We have some very old churches (<1300) with wooden beams. In Italy there will likely be even older structures with original wood.
Is that what you meant?
Or do you mean completely wooden structures? Such as the top of old windmills?
Does old furniture count?
kassy may have a more informed answer.
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kassy

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #77 on: December 19, 2019, 07:22:32 PM »
Don´t think so. Much of our environment is quite conductive to rotting but in a lot of places the municipal services will get there first (thinking of the fallen log example but we actually raked much of our forest too and lobbying had to be done to leave up actual dead trees).


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sidd

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #78 on: December 19, 2019, 09:32:44 PM »
Re: wooden structures, rot

i have a barn that was built in 1867. As long as the roof dont leak, or it catches fire, the thing will stand for as long as maintained.

Soon as the roof goes bad, barns collapse in less than 5 yrs, all that will be left is a crazy pile of wood. There some barns like that around. In ten years they are a little hill with trees and odd bits of wood. In fifteen, all you see is a hillock.

sidd

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #79 on: December 20, 2019, 05:42:37 AM »
Re:  aged wood sawmill in Indiana that was very long in the tooth, but that again was further north than Pa.

Wait, what ? Indiana is at the same latitude as PA. And gets less rain. Northern edge of IN is just about Erie PA latitude. But it does get colder in winter the further west you go. OH is colder than PA and IN gets colder than OH. So more reliable winter bug death westward. I've seen entire winters in PA where the ground never froze, but over the border frozen down to a foot in OH by January, and down two feet in IN.

I think that a wooden structure can last indefinitely if the roof is maintained and fire is avoided. The old temples in Japan mostly go from fire, and then are rebuilt. Mainly it's maintenance.

sidd

El Cid

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #80 on: December 20, 2019, 08:13:36 AM »
absolutely, sidd. for wood (or any organic matter for that matter) to break down you need 3 things: water and air and above freezing temperatures. if you don't have those, it will take ages for it to break down...

nanning

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #81 on: December 20, 2019, 08:47:28 AM »
^^
And of course you need LIFE. Ecosystems. Easily forgotten.
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TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #82 on: December 20, 2019, 12:41:47 PM »
TerryM, IIRC the earthworms had to be brought in by Man.


Yes, that's my understanding. I was hunting mushrooms in the woods north of Sudbury with a botanist who pointed out the damage earthworms had done to the forest. He thought they'd been introduced by fishing tourists who had tossed out worms they'd brought in as live bait.


Until then I'd been taught (in California) that worms were almost a necessity for successful gardening, and that they'd improve the soil.


Lots of wooden artifacts disappear over time, unless deposited in desiccated or frozen sites, but the pre-neanderthal spears found in Germany are indicative that even in damp soil unprotected wood can survive for eons. These spruce spears were more than 300K years old!


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6ningen_spears


Trees living for thousands of years are rarities, but they exist. I've seen screw pines and bristlecone pines that grew when the great basin was in a pluvial period near the end of the last ice age. Still sequestering carbon for over 10K yrs!


Burning wood is "dirtier" than burning coal by ~200%. Why not leave it to grow, then slowly regenerate the soil for some centuries after it dies. Pelletized wood apparently burns more efficiently, but the costs to the environment of making the pellets, them shipping them, undercut any advantage they might have had.


I personally think we're well past any point where we could have turned this around, but I feel that burning biomass is going to accelerate GHGs.


Terry

TerryM

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Re: Biomass issues
« Reply #83 on: December 20, 2019, 12:59:02 PM »
Re:  aged wood sawmill in Indiana that was very long in the tooth, but that again was further north than Pa.

Wait, what ? Indiana is at the same latitude as PA. And gets less rain. Northern edge of IN is just about Erie PA latitude. But it does get colder in winter the further west you go. OH is colder than PA and IN gets colder than OH. So more reliable winter bug death westward. I've seen entire winters in PA where the ground never froze, but over the border frozen down to a foot in OH by January, and down two feet in IN.

I think that a wooden structure can last indefinitely if the roof is maintained and fire is avoided. The old temples in Japan mostly go from fire, and then are rebuilt. Mainly it's maintenance.

sidd


My bad sidd
I'd thought that the temperatures would be ~comparable.


Protected wooden structures seem to last a very long time, when maintained. I've a friend involved in archaeobiology and I'll question his about the oldest wooden artefacts he's come across in Southern Ontario. Most of his work is at post-contact sites, but he's certainly worked some that were much older.
We've points dated back 9,800 yrs locally, but no worked wood from that era that I'm aware of.


Cheers
Terry