Bamboo, as well as trees, sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts the carbon into plant fiber. If the bamboo and wood are made into houses, then the carbon is effectively stored for the life span of the house. Borates successfully preserve wood and bamboo for well over fifty years. Thus, bamboo and wood houses become a carbon capture and storage system. There is some evidence that intensely managed plantations of clumping bamboo in tropical and subtropical climates produce significantly more biomass than trees. Therefore, bamboo is able to produce more houses and sequester more carbon than the same area planted in trees.
A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that accumulates and stores some carbon-containing chemical compound for an indefinite period. The process by which carbon sinks remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere is known as carbon sequestration. (Source)
Growing forests absorb CO2. Large-scale bamboo plantations and sustainable management of the world’s existing bamboo resources can become effective carbon sinks.
Vigorous growth makes bamboo a particularly attractive plant for carbon sequestration and rapid expansion of raw material supply to support future growth in value-added products market.
Bamboo minimizes CO2 gases and generates up to 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. 1 hectare (2.2 acres) of bamboo sequesters up to 62 tons of CO2/year, whereas 1 hectare of young forest sequesters 15 tons of CO2/year. (Source: J. Janssen, Technical University Eindhoven, 2000)
Bamboo sequesters carbon in the permanent growing rhizome mat and in phytoliths (plant stones), but in order to maximize the overall carbon sequestration, bamboo must be harvested and manufactured into durable goods (building materials and houses).
Currently, over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent are produced each year by human activity. Bamboo offers one of the quickest natural ways of removing vast amounts of that carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Preserve the bamboo with borates and build buildings with that bamboo and you have sequestered and stored the carbon for a hundred years. At the same time, you are creating jobs and opportunities for farmers and builders throughout the world. Bamboo buildings are a carbon capture and storage system.
Bamboo takes CO2 from the atmosphere and through the process of photosynthesis turns it into sugars. The bamboo plant transforms these sugars into the compounds that make up bamboo fiber. Half the weight of the bamboo is carbon. The carbon from the atmosphere is thus locked up in the bamboo fiber itself. When that bamboo fiber is used to construct buildings, the carbon in it is sequestered for the lifetime of the building.