Learn how our method stores carbon with forest ecosystems and how we help forests to become more resilient in the future.
The Carbon Cycle
The Carbon Cycle
The Carbon Cycle
We capture carbon directly out of the air with the help of trees.
Forests are very important ecosystems that can store large amounts of carbon and are full of biodiversity. When growing new biomass, carbon is absorbed from the atmosphere.
An old forest ecosystem can be considered CO2 neutral, some trees die, rot and emit CO2, others use the newly created space to grow and store carbon.
If wood is harvested, the new space lets new plants grow and more carbon is absorbed. Unfortunately, most harvested wood is burned within years and the stored carbon escapes into the atmosphere. Wood that is used for building houses or furniture stores the carbon longer, but eventually, the wood will decay and return to the atmosphere within 50 to 100 years.
To permanently store carbon, some biomass has to be taken from this cycle. Carbonsate will store away some of the wood we harvest from our forests, to remove it from the natural cycle of wood and prevent the captured carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere.
By making sure that the stored wood is kept safe and does not decay, we realize cheap and easy carbon dioxide removal on a large scale.
How forests store carbon
Wood is a great way to store carbon, it is stable, easy to handle, doesn't require energy to store and is easy to produce. Instead of sucking carbon out of the air with very energy intensive processes, we can let the plants do the work for us. They grow and store carbon in the form of biomass, all while providing many important ecosystem services like watershed protection, air filtration, habitat for animals and recreational benefits. Humans have been harvesting forests for thousands of years. Only recently did we realize that forests are not endless. We started to develop strategies so that the forest can be harvested and trees have a chance to regrow. This enabled us to harvest wood while keeping the ecosystem intact. By not destroying the ecosystem when harvesting the wood, forest cover can remain constant over time.
The amount of carbon absorbed by a growing tree varies with time. In the early years of life, a tree grows slowly and is in grave danger from the elements and animals. This danger can be significantly reduced if a young trees is growing in an forest ecosystem. It is not overly exposed to the sun, rain and wind and enjoys protection from older trees. With the years, the tree grows stronger and starts to grow more rapidly capturing much more carbon per year. After some time, the tree reaches a stage where grows slows and it now provides shelter for new growing trees beneath.
A lot of carbon is not only stored in the visible plants but also in the roots and other organic matter in the ground. If a forest is cut down entirely and the ground lays bare, the carbon stored there depletes quickly. This is prevented by keeping the ecosystem intact and only harvest some of the trees each year. Harvesting only so much wood as can regrow is called sustainable forest harvesting. By managing a forest sustainably, the forest is able to recover from the harvest. Furthermore, mostly local and mixed trees should be planted to make the ecosystem more robust against heat, forest fires and pests.
Our forests have been under increasing stress. Humans have created monocultures of fast growing, invasive species that are suppressing native flora. Rising temperatures, droughts and the following weakness of the trees has led to insects killing like never before. Because forests are only consisting of few treetypes, sickness spreads fasts and eradicates whole ecosystems in a matter of years. Forest managers around the world have started to react and plant more resistant, native species in mixed forest ecosystems. These forests can survive much more and will be the forest of the future.
In the process of transforming our forests into more resilient ecosystems, monocultures will be harvested and trees will die due to pests and droughts. This wood may not be used for construction and will be burned or decompose. The carbon stored in the trees over decades with photosythesis will be emitted into the atmosphere. Carbonsate will help the forest owners by purchasing the wood for above market price and store the carbon permanentely, helping them change the forests for the better and remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Forests and the Atmosphere
As trees grow, they store Carbon Dioxide in form of living biomass in their roots, leaves, branches and trunk. Humans have reduced the land covered by trees drastically over the past hundreds of years. This released large amounts of Carbon into the atmosphere that would otherwise be stored in forests around the world. Additionally, humans have started to burn fossil fuels that emit carbon that has been stored away for millions of years.
To reverse this process, we need to replant our forests to create a new carbon stock in living forests. This alone, sadly, is not enough. Humans are using much of the formerly forested land for sustaining our civilisation. All this land is not available for reforestation, therefore more carbon remains in the atmosphere than there was before mass deforestation. Another factor is the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Reforestation can not account for this additional carbon stock in the atmosphere. Oceans and other vegetation can absorb some of this additional carbon, but most remains in the atmosphere and warms our planet.