Building on Natural Processes

The Biologic Containment Program builds upon the capacity of natural ecosystems to capture and store carbon. Our projects aim to expand and prolong carbon storage in these ecosystems as part of longer-term carbon containment strategies. This Program is in an initial research phase, and experimental results and findings will inform the deployment of pilot projects.

Forests, wood products, and peatlands all offer opportunities for carbon containment. Our projects investigate ways to contain carbon now, while also preserving wood biomass for use in the future.

Biologic Goals

Where We're Going

Our Biologic Program includes projects that contribute to a long-term carbon storage strategy.

We are developing methods for wood based storage as a long-term carbon storage strategy. We anticipate the impact of these projects will grow towards the end of the decade.

Our projections show two categories: risk-adjusted and total potential opportunities. Overall projections are based on our estimates of the overall carbon containment and destruction potential of the Biologic Program. 

Risk-adjusted projections are derived from those overall estimates but factor in reasonable limitations given risks on deployment and adoption of the technology, as well as challenges based upon market factors.

Program Highlight: Storing Carbon in Wood

Regions like the American West have an urgent need for wood carbon containment. Under the business-as-usual case, wood from forest thinning is stacked in slash piles and left to decompose or burned to reduce wildfire risk. Through research trials, we are determining the best method of managing this vast carbon stock. This will in turn inform implementation at scale. 

Gather Experimental Data

Establish wood cookies and slash pile experiments across the US. Analyze results to guide pilot wood storage projects.

Establish Pilot Projects

Deploy first wood burial and above-ground storage pilot projects. Ensure durability with rigorous monitoring, reporting, and verification.

Development of Wood Storage Business Model

Pair verified carbon storage projects with buyers and develop market confidence. Develop partnerships with forest managers and landowners. 

Storage of Forest Residue Wood

Secure funding and initiate large-scale construction of wood vaults in target regions. Scale gathering and delivery of the wood to sites.

Integrate with Markets

Convert the wood stored into carbon-negative products and processes, such as wood products or underground CO2 storage & injection. 

Biologic Systems & Processes

The CC Lab is exploring various opportunities to store more carbon, more quickly in biological carbon stocks. We are conducting a nationwide field experiment, the ‘wood cookie experiment,’ to gauge the effectiveness of several simple, cheap, and scalable wood carbon storage solutions in various regions.


We are also investigating durable wood storage in underground vaults, or in above-ground structures that would facilitate future wood conversion in biomass energy or gasification projects. Other related projects include developing novel post-wildfire reforestation strategies to improve seedling survival and accelerate forest carbon sequestration after severe wildfire.

Plants, soils, forests, coastal systems, and wetland environments are all important carbon stores.

Projects in Development 

Additional early-stage efforts include supporting the American mass timber industry, which stores carbon in products made from low-diameter, low-value wood. We have an ongoing collaboration with architect Jana VanderGoot and students at the Yale School of Architecture to produce designs using low carbon intensity, dowel laminated timber products, and to explore their use in above-ground wood storage vaults.

We are also looking for innovate ways to preserve and protect critical carbon-storing ecosystems such as peatlands. Often, even if these ecosystems are later restored, there are signs they do not regain their prior capacity to store carbon, indicating our best option is to protect them from disturbance. 

CC Lab team members conducting fieldwork in Mississippi. CC Lab, 2022.
CC Lab team members conducting fieldwork in Mississippi. CC Lab, 2022.

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