Poplar grows back after harvest and can be harvested again in two to three years.
Biofuels: Half Way to Carbon Neutral
A benefit to using poplar as the biomass feedstock is that the trees continue to store carbon in their roots after harvest. The cut root stalks then re-sprout with multiple shoots, storing even more carbon.
This cycle of harvest and regrowth with continual carbon storage leads to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emission compared to petroleum-based fuel.
Carbon emissions that result from converting poplar biomass into fuel and from using the biofuels are balanced by the carbon that poplars sequester in their trunks, stems, and roots as they grow.
The amount of the emission reduction depends on the conversion process and which type of fuel is made. We are quantifying the emission reductions through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).