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Author Topic: carbon capture in the garden  (Read 4647 times)
djs63
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« on: April 20, 2014, 03:21:06 PM »

Does piling up branches and leaves and composting vegetation trap CO2 or do the organisms which break down this material release the CO2?

We burn logs at home, having grown the trees ourselves, but are in a quandary about disposing of the branches (deciduous and conifer) and conifer needles. Burning releases the CO2 into the atmosphere but piling it all up in a corner might "trap it"? Council composting depots might be carbon capture plants.... (not meant to be a pun). Even it this were the case I do not see how we can scale it up to a meaningful size.
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ianh64
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 04:11:08 PM »

Organic matter has CO2 to release. You either release it slowly by allowing it to decompose over time, or release it quickly by say burning it. Its the same amount of CO2 either way.
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djs63
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 04:40:59 PM »

I had a feeling that it might be as you say. But, isn't the compost produced a carbon based material and isn't humus in soil carbon based? I know nothing about plants but are you saying they break down the carbon based material in the soil and release CO2 from it? Is this what they make sugars from?
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Countrypaul
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 06:31:06 PM »

Yes compost is organically based and contains some carbon based material which forms the humous/humus. This slowly decays over time releasing CO2 as it does, whether directly or when eaten by various species which then emit CO2.

Sugars are formed in plants largely from CO2 and water.

I would guess the best way to create a carbon sotre tha won't decay quickly would be to produce charcoal as this would hang around much longer than compost.

Paul
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pdf27
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 07:52:43 PM »

I would guess the best way to create a carbon sotre tha won't decay quickly would be to produce charcoal as this would hang around much longer than compost.
Very much so - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta
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oliver90owner
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 08:15:48 PM »

Keep this in context.  Coal is 'captured carbon' since, maybe, two hundred million years ago.  Carbon dioxide is 'captured' (by plants) from the atmosphere and the energy of light is incorporated in that process.  Captured is not the same as sequestered.
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djs63
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 01:42:31 PM »

Oliver90owner makes a good point about capture and sequestration. We have planted 2000 trees over 25 years ago and continue to do. That's our way of capturing carbon.......
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Bodidly
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 02:43:34 PM »

I think turning the brash into charcoal/biochar would keep the CO2 locked up.
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