Wood-based biofuel could be more harmful for environment than previously thought because intensive forest management practices may cause release of underground carbon, suggests study

LOS ANGELES , June 11, 2013 () – Wood-based biofuel could be more harmful for the environment than previously thought because intensive forest management practices may lead to the release of underground carbon, according to a study highlighted in Popular Science on June 11.

About 75% of global biofuel production involves forest biomass.

The study, which involved assessing several recent research papers about lower soil carbon levels, found that carbon emissions analyses often do not account for carbon stored in deep soils. Intensive forest management practices can release this carbon into the atmosphere, Popular Science reported.

Co-author and Dartmouth College Professor Andrew Friedland said the study suggests boosting our reliance on wood could increase the release of carbon stored in mineral soil. Researchers urged policymakers to reconsider encouraging the use of trees in biofuel.

The study, “Mineral soil carbon fluxes in forests and implications for carbon balance assessments,” can be found in the journal of “Global Change Biology-Bioenergy.”

The primary source of this article is Popular Science, New York, New York, on June 11, 2013.

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