Wood burning can generate energy, but it is some of the most carbon intensive energy there is. There is a lot of carbon locked up in the wood in forests, and all that is released when burned. Additionally, burning wood releases particulate matter that can be unhealthy. Biofuels can be a good idea for renewable energy, but not from wood – our best bet is looking into plants like switchgrass.
Not really. Wood burning releases black carbon (soot), CO2, Nitrous oxide, and other harmful chemicals into the air. The tree growing does mitigate some of the carbon impact of burning the wood, but the net effect of burning wood is negative.
Burning wood does release carbon into the atmosphere. But when thinking about burning biofuels for energy, remember that the idea is that the biomass is renewable. For every tree harvested for wood, a new tree will be planted to replace it. The growth of that new tree in turn captures carbon from the atmosphere. Wood fuel is closer to carbon-neutral than you might think, but only when considered over a time frame of many decades.
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