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What's the fastest growing plant by carbon density?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

What is the fastest growing plant by amount of carbon stored in the wood? Bamboo is one of the fastest growing woody plants (by height), but it is mostly hollow, and so I'm not sure that it stores that much carbon, relative to other plants.

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

Since grass and switchgrass already been mentioned; Hemp and Paulownia tree may be the alternative answer. They are among the fastest growing plants.

For hemp, one unit land area of hemp(s) can produces as much cellulose as 4 unit land area of trees.

up vote 3 down vote

One way to look at it to compare like with like is to look at the photosynthetic efficiency since carbon is fixed through photosynthesis.

By this measure, sugar cane comes on top, converting about 8% of the incomming sunlight energy into stored carbon energy.


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What's the fastest growing plant by carbon density?

up vote 14 down vote

What is the fastest growing plant by amount of carbon stored in the wood? Bamboo is one of the fastest growing woody plants (by height), but it is mostly hollow, and so I'm not sure that it stores that much carbon, relative to other plants.


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up vote 9 down vote

Since grass and switchgrass already been mentioned; Hemp and Paulownia tree may be the alternative answer. They are among the fastest growing plants.

For hemp, one unit land area of hemp(s) can produces as much cellulose as 4 unit land area of trees.

edit

hemp would also replace trees as our primary paper pulp source. Since used paper is recycled and not burned, it would be a very useful way of sequestering carbon. Bamboo grows very fast especially in the first 2 years and is very useful for paper pulp, textiles, and building materials. - 0tyranny 0poverty Feb 26 at 11:40

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