Limits to CO2-Neutrality of Burning Wood. (Review)

J. Abolins 1 , 2  and J. Gravitis 2
  • 1 Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy, University of Latvia, 19 Raina Blvd., Riga, LV-1586, Latvia
  • 2 Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry, 27 Dzerbenes Str., Riga, LV-1006, Latvia


Consumption of wood as a source of energy is discussed with respect to efficiency and restraints to ensure sustainability of the environment on the grounds of a simple analytical model describing dynamics of biomass accumulation in forest stands – a particular case of the well-known empirical Richards’ equation. Amounts of wood harvested under conditions of maximum productivity of forest land are presented in units normalised with respect to the maximum of the mean annual increment and used to determine the limits of CO2-neutrality. The ecological “footprint” defined by the area of growing stands necessary to absorb the excess amount of CO2 annually released from burning biomass is shown to be equal to the land area of a plantation providing sustainable supply of fire-wood.

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