CO2 molecule is made of one carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms. 1 Kg of carbon on complete combustion will produce 3.67 Kg. of CO2.
Wood is heterogeneous and exact amount of carbon in 1 Kg of dry wood will vary depending on the species of wood, age of wood etc. It is reported that 1 Kg of wood contains about 450 to 500 gm of Carbon. This means 1 Kg of wood is holding about 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2. This is how wood or forest act as carbon sink.
Similarly burning of 1 kg of wood will generate 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2.
Wood is the only construction material which has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere when produced and not emitted more during its production.
To compare, one tone of:
- concrete — has released 159 kilos of CO2 into the atmosphere
- steel — has released 1.24 tones of CO2 into the atmosphere
- aluminum — has released 9.3 tones of CO2 into the atmosphere
- wood, however, has absorbed a net 1.7 tones of CO2 from the atmosphere
The more timber you use in a house, the more CO2 you “remove” from the atmosphere
It takes around 20 trees to build an average house frame
A steel house frame has added 4.5 tones of CO2 to the atmosphere VS a wooden house frame has absorbed 9.5 tones of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Choosing timber options for an average house can take around 20 tones net of CO2 out of the atmosphere saving the equivalent of 7.1 years of car use VS using alternative materials (concrete, steel, brick and aluminum) can add 24 tones net CO2 to the atmosphere costing the equivalent of 8.6 years of car use!!!
Using wood is something we can all do to help the environment. By demanding and using more sustainable produced wood, we can ensure that more trees will be planted and more carbon dioxide will be absorbed from the atmosphere.
The result is a better world for ourselves, our families and future generations. It’s simple. Wood. Our most renewable raw material.