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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020561

Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wood Use in Civil Engineering in Japan Based on Life-Cycle Assessment

1
Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 3-5-8 Saiwai-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan
2
Graduate School of Engineering Science, Akita University, 1-1 Tegata Gakuen-machi, Akita-shi, Akita 010-8502, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Life Cycle Assessment)
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Abstract

Throughout its life-cycle, wood contributes to climate change mitigation through carbon storage and material and energy substitution. Focusing on wood use for piles, check dams, paved walkways, guardrails, and noise barriers, we quantified the nationwide potential for climate change mitigation in civil engineering in Japan through 2050. To assess mitigation potential, we examined life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are avoided by storing carbon in wood and forests, substituting wooden materials for non-wooden materials (cement, concrete, steel, and asphalt), and substituting processing residue and waste wood salvaged from defunct civil engineering structures for fossil fuels (heavy oil). Our projections suggest that there will be a maximum potential domestic log volume of 6.80 million m3/year available for civil engineering use in Japan in 2050, and that it would be possible to produce this volume while increasing Japan’s forest resources over the long term. A maximum nationwide avoided GHG emissions potential of 9.63 million t-CO2eq/year could be achieved in 2050, which is equivalent to 0.7% of Japan’s current GHG emissions. The breakdown of avoided emissions is 73%, 19%, and 8% for carbon storage, material substitution, and energy substitution, respectively, with the greatest contributions coming from carbon storage through the use of log piles. View Full-Text
Keywords: life-cycle assessment (LCA); carbon storage; material substitution; energy substitution; log pile; wooden guardrail; wooden check dam; woodchip-paved walkway; wooden noise barrier life-cycle assessment (LCA); carbon storage; material substitution; energy substitution; log pile; wooden guardrail; wooden check dam; woodchip-paved walkway; wooden noise barrier
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Kayo, C.; Noda, R. Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wood Use in Civil Engineering in Japan Based on Life-Cycle Assessment. Sustainability 2018, 10, 561.

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