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Autumn harvest

Collect autumn leaves, pyrolyse them
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Notwithstanding the debate on anthropogenic climate change...

Atmospheric CO2 levels show a very distinct seasonal cycle, ostensibly as a result of northern hemisphere deciduous forests. [i’ll link, but it’s the Mauna Loa NOAA CO2 data I think]

Assuming that it would be a good thing to sequester atmospheric CO2 in the most cost-effective, least- energy- intensive way...

Every autumn, billions [pending data] of tonnes of CO2 and methane are emitted by decomposing seasonal leaf litter.

The biomass of autumn leaves could be collected, and processed by pyrolysis, to produce Biochar (which can be used as a soil improver for agricultural soils, and permanently [link pending] sequesters atmospheric carbon), and pyrolysis gasses and oils which can be used as feedstocks for fuel oils or synthetic chemicals, or to generate electricity or heat, or an adjustable combination of those.

Which overcomes some of the arguments against large- scale biomass-pyrolysis-Biochar sequestration.

The downside might be that the “active carbon” in the forest soils would be reduced, and this might have a detrimental effect on overall soil health.

Frankx, Oct 30 2019

[link]






       The carbon in bio char lasts about a thousand years give or take a few.
The best bio char is made from hard wood as you get the most carbon packed into the densest framework. From what I've read you'd get more ash from leaves than char. Ash is also good if your plants like sweet soil though.
  

       Be sure to factor in the energy expended in collecting, transporting and processing the leaves. That includes the energy/resource inputs to construct the vehicles and facilities. If the buildings use a lot of concrete that's going to be hugely carbon-negative ...
8th of 7, Oct 30 2019
  

       Oohh, can it be made to look like a wicker man?
not_morrison_rm, Oct 30 2019
  

       Ok, I’ll do some numbers. Overall, collecting leaves will be less energy (and carbon) intensive than agriculture per tonne - no fertilisers, insecticides or ploughing required. Infrastructure to process depends on the balance of output (Biochar/fuels/electricity) but will be comparable to other food and energy processes
Frankx, Oct 30 2019
  

       <Throws half-bag of wine gums to [n_m_rm]/>
8th of 7, Oct 30 2019
  
      
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