OSU study shows downside of biomass


OSU researchers say using Oregon forests for biomass production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by at least 14%.

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OSU researchers say using Oregon forests for biomass production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by at least 14%.

“Most people assume that wood bioenergy will be carbon-neutral, because the forest re-grows and there’s also the chance of protecting forests from carbon emissions due to wildfire,” researcher Tara Hudiburg  said in an OSU news release. But the study shows removing forest debris for bioenergy use will release more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than current practices burning it or leaving it in place, she said.

Hudiburg and OSU forestry professor Beverly Law, co-author of the report, said the implications of managing forests for energy production have not been fully considered. “If our ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, producing bioenergy from forests will be counterproductive,” Law said in the news release.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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