13 Mar 2009 04:03:50
Microwaved trees to lock-in CO2
Microwaving trees then burying them could contribute substantially to combating climate change, according to a scientist at the University of Exeter.
Fast-growth trees could be grown on plantations where they would absorb carbon dioxide and at a certain age cut down and turned into charcoal which would lock the greenhouse gas in.
The so-called "biochar" created in this way could then be buried underground to keep the emissions from entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
Professor Chris Turney, who has built a five-metre long prototype of the microwave, told the Guardian that this method could remove billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year.
He has set up a company, Carbonscape, to build a bigger model of the microwave needed to turn the wood into a more stable CO2 store.
The UN convention on Desertification launched a submission in support of Biochar as a carbon mitigation strategy at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan earlier this year.http://carbonscape.com