Issue Date: August 27, 2007
Sequester CO2 With Trees
I was intrigued by Stephen Ritter's article, "What Can We Do With CO2?" (C&EN, April 30, page 11). Some of the elegant chemical approaches to this problem are awesome if not quixotic.
In Savannah, Ga., we eschew the chemical approach, photosynthesis notwithstanding. We plant trees. Savannah has been designated as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation yearly since 1983. We have 86,000 trees. One tree will absorb 26 lb of carbon dioxide per year. Thereby, 1,118 tons of CO2 per year is sequestered from the atmosphere. At the same time, a like volume of oxygen is released into the atmosphere.
In contrast, the wildfires that have been raging in many parts of the country constitute a very sad irony. Previously sequestered CO2 is discharged back into the atmosphere. It's not a perfect world.
Stanley Miles Ohlberg
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