LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF CARBON FLOW THROUGH HARVESTED WOOD PRODUCTSAnindita Bhattacharyya , Asis Mazumdar , Pankaj Kumar Roy and Anasua Sarkar
The paper discusses a life cycle model of wood products of Dalbergia sissoofrom Saharanpur and Bijnor to calculate and trace the amount of carbon retained. A simulation model is built to trace the fate of carbon bound in the products produced in the year 2009 for a period of 200 years, until most of the carbon is released back into the atmosphere. The amount of carbon that enters the life cycle is calculated based on the field data collected since 2009 at Saharanpur and Bijnor. The roots (20%) are heavy and left out in the forest for decomposition. The bole and the thick branches (70.45%) are used by the wood based industry and the rest of the thin branches and leaves (9.47%) are used as fuel wood after being dried. As most of the portion is used as timber the amount of carbon being released in the first year is restricted up to 10% only from the burning of fuel wood and the rest of the 20% in root decomposes in many years to form the humus part of the soil. The results of the life cycle analysis are undertaken in business as usual, S 1 and S 2 scenarios. The sensitivity analysis shows that length of the lifespan has only a marginal effect on the amount of carbon sequestered in all over harvested wood products pool, but has significant effect on the amount of carbon stocked in the products pool in use. Thus, an important conclusion from this new scenario analysis is that increasing the life span of the products (i.e. by increasing the durability), carbon can be locked over a period equal to the time needed to grow the timber for these products. Economic tools like environmental benchmarking process (forest certification) can play major role in increasing the life span of the wood products. Apart from this, greater carbon storage can be achieved by promoting fuel efficient energy systems in the production houses instead of burning fossil fuels like diesel.
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