Forests cover about 60% of Sweden. Ample opportunities therefore exists to use its biomass. Forests play an important rôle in tackling climate change. Forests take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in trees and soil. The trees can be processed and used to replace other materials in buildings or replace fossil carbon in fuels. Our research strive to describe positive and negative aspects of different forestry practises using LCA.
Life cycle assessment is a useful tool when comparing timber and forest slash with other materials and energy sources. In both cases resources are needed to harvest and forward the wood and the amount of carbon stored in the soil changes.
If the forest biomass is used as fuel carbon will released to the air. If the biomass had been left it would still have released carbon to the air when decomposed. The process would, however, have been slower. The impact of greenhouse gases on the climate depend not only on how much is released to the atmosphere, but also on how long it stays there. It is therefore important to take into account the time ranges of processes such as these when studying forestry.