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Bury trees - reduce greenhouse gasses?

Grow trees, bury them in anaerobic conditions.
  (+7, -14)(+7, -14)
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It seems that coal is trees that died ages ago and got buried but didn't rot. (and therefore didn't release their carbon content).

To reduce CO2 in the atmosphere and ,as a side-effect, produce coal for future civilations (human or otherwise), can't we grow loads of trees, but ensure we bury them somewhere the bugs can't get to them ?

monojohnny, May 28 2006

Build houses and later pour dirt on them! Carbon_20fixed_20house
[Voice, Nov 04 2008]

So this is now actually been touted as a real idea (sort-of).... http://www.guardian.../13/charcoal-carbon
Bury [microwaved] trees : reduce greenhouse gasses? [monojohnny, Apr 06 2009]

[link]






       So basically we would have to ensure that we didn't pump out more CO2 in the process of cutting/burying trees than we are locking up in the trees...   

       I guess this is a long shot.....
monojohnny, May 28 2006
  

       The real trick is to plant more trees so that at any one time there is more CO2 trapped in the plant matter.
To be honest, given the reduction in the Amazon rainforest, just getting back to break even is nigh on impossible.
Jinbish, May 28 2006
  

       I tried ordering a rainforest online.
Ian Tindale, May 29 2006
  

       I once tried to get e bay.
Jinbish, May 29 2006
  

       No more coal production, please. Fishd.
epicproblem, May 29 2006
  

       Why bury it? Build wood pyramids in the desert instead.
ldischler, May 30 2006
  

       People won't even know about coal's existence in a few decades. They will have moved on to better fuel soures, such as pure hydrogen. Hopefully, this will come before the fossil fuel companies go totally bankrupt. The people in power want to keep that power for as long as they can, and they're not going to give it up until they can't give us any more fossil fuels, and I hope we're not caught without an alternative when they run out all of a sudden.
kevinthenerd, May 31 2006
  

       Wood pyramids - great idea - something for the tourists as well then.
monojohnny, May 31 2006
  

       [epic], why? Producing a tonne of coal would reverse the environmental impact (at least, the CO2 release) of burning a tonne of coal. In terms of pollution, the process would be carbon neutral.
david_scothern, May 31 2006
  

       Pure hydrogen, Kevin? Where do you get this pure hydrogen?
ldischler, May 31 2006
  

       "Pure hydrogen, Kevin? Where do you get this pure hydrogen?"   

       Electrolysis. Sir Harry Kroto (the guy who discovered Bucky Balls) said in a lecture at my university that we're going to have to learn how to use Hydrogen, and I fully agree. I've been recently reading some patents about how to use Hydrogen efficiently, both in production and use.
kevinthenerd, Jun 02 2006
  

       Yes, I know, but where do you get the energy to make it? Do you use electricity? Do you burn coal to make the electricity?
ldischler, Jun 02 2006
  

       It doesn't make sense to grow trees purely for the purpose of burying them. On the other hand, using pulp trees to make paper which is then landfilled has pretty much the same effect but with the added ability to get use out of the paper.
supercat, Jun 02 2006
  

       The best use is to make expensive furniture.
ldischler, Jun 02 2006
  

       First, most coal doesn't come from trees. Most comes from the plant matter that fills in bogs which is called peat. Burying and heating it turns it to coal. Second, there isn't really a world shortage of coal. On the topic of hydrogen, Iceland is producing hydrogen using geothermal power.
akgeo, Jun 02 2006
  

       ok Akgeo....   

       Bury 'plant-matter' instead of 'trees' then.....   

       The primary idea wasn't to create coal, which would take millions of years - it was to reduce Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere....
monojohnny, Jun 07 2006
  

       If we were to use nuclear power to create the electricity and other forms of electrical generation to create the hydrogen then there would be a none polluting way of putting the CO2 back underground.
Pyro-Mania, Jun 08 2006
  

       Not quite right to say that Nuclear Power is 'non-polluting' - however I take the point that it doesn't generate huge amounts of CO2 like burning fossil fuels does.   

       I don't think this idea's gonna work.....   

       Maybe it would be simpler to force all car owners to have a small CO2-hungry plant in their car.   

       Wouldn't scrub anywhere near as much as the car is producing, but at least it would use up some CO2 - and there's be lots of them. (And it would still work when the car wasn't runnning).   

       Maybe scrap the tax disk (or whatever is the local equivalent) and replace with a small shrub. (Details could be written on the plant pot).
monojohnny, Jun 08 2006
  

       This is simply a macroscopic implementation of LeChâtlier's principle (who, by the way, was French).   

       There is an equilbrium of CO2 <=> Trees. Removing Trees from the right side of the equation shifts the equilbrium to the right, thus removing the CO2.   

       But for all intensive purposes, throwing your recyclable paper in the ground will achieve the same effect.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 08 2008
  

       First, switch from "trees" to bamboo or grass clippings, they grow much faster and pack better. Then just build a large pit, or use an old mine, line it with recycled plastic or seal coat the walls, if necessary and then fill with a heavier than air inert gas and "biofill" the hole.
MisterQED, Nov 08 2008
  

       Isn't it rewarding to see something you thought of brought to almost fruition? Nice link.
blissmiss, Apr 06 2009
  

       //Why bury it? Build wood pyramids in the desert instead.// That would be silly. But I'm thinking deck the sahara.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 06 2009
  

       [-] Coal is peat moss (not trees) which died ages ago and got buried but didn't rot. The reason the peat didn't rot is because it grew (and died, and was buried) in a swamp where anything not right at the surface is submerged in oxygen deprived water.   

       I can't imagine that it would be environmentally friendly to dig up a peat bog just to bury trees there. Lots of transportation costs (emissions) for the trees, lots of damage to the peat bog.   

       On the other hand, if you were to take those trees and alter them so that they don't rot, even in ordinary soil, you might be on to something, since they could then be buried right where they'd been grown.   

       Charcoal is the obvious solution, but perhaps some sort of chemical preservative that could permanently prevent decay might also work.
goldbb, Aug 10 2010
  

       "Biochar" is the term used for converting trees to charcoal, then burying them. It sequesters CO2 and enriches soil.
baconbrain, Aug 10 2010
  

       As I understand it, we need to make wooden wash basins.   

       Algae grows fastest and is a lot easier to cut down.
marklar, Aug 11 2010
  

       weird, why all the bones ?
FlyingToaster, Aug 11 2010
  

       The fishbones are likely due to one or more of: *) There are lots better things to do with trees than bury them in a swamp. *) Swamps are valuable ecological resources -- too valuable to potential damage them by thoughtlessly dumping trees into them. *) There are lots more effective ways to sequester carbon -- biochar being the most obvious.   

       marklar, how do you "cut down" algae?
goldbb, Aug 15 2010
  

       I've been advocating this for years, except I think that burying paper would be more effective than trees as I believe trees would rot back to CO2 faster. paper might last a couple of thousand years.
gtoal, Aug 15 2010
  

       //not extracting the obvious energy// energy is all 'round: trees are half carbon and easy as hell to grow: wait 150 years then use as lumber or bury (or in mine plunk them into global-warming supplied new areas, let them grow then let them freeze) <link>.   

       I mean the "renewable energy" stuff is proof positive of footprint balance, but <mmble drunken baking mlbdb w> letting them turninto cola works .
FlyingToaster, Aug 15 2010
  

       //The best use is to make expensive furniture. - ldischler//   

       or make cheap furniture and give them away.
neelandan, Aug 16 2010
  

       make too much cheap furniture and guess what the people at the far end are going to use it for
FlyingToaster, Aug 16 2010
  

       Cut down the trees and put them in disused mineshafts ?
8th of 7, Aug 17 2010
  

       Why not use old wood waste to make gasoline?
travbm, Oct 29 2015
  
      
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