01 December 2009

Air Capture Update

I have a short, invited correspondence in the current issue of Nature Geoscience on air capture. Here is how it begins:
The world is struggling to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through conventional mitigation, and initially high expectations for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen, 7–18 December) are seemingly being scaled back almost daily. It thus seems that brute force efforts to remove and sequester carbon dioxide, such as air capture, will come to occupy an ever greater role in climate-policy discussions. Air capture refers to the direct removal and sequestration of carbon dioxide from ambient air. Investigations of the technologies that would remove this carbon dioxide, along with the associated costs and benefits, are attracting growing attention.
This issue is focused on carbon sequestration has a range of articles worth a look.


  1. Roger:

    I appreciate your 'plug' of including our "Irrigate Afforestation..." paper among your references, but I'm surprised you didn't also reference its 'mate', "Relacing coal with wood..."


    that includes 1.5 to 4.5 GtC/yr of 'new' bio-sequestration that is doable right now, at low cost, and with existing technology?

  2. Roger,

    I also remain somewhat mystified that you continue to emphasize chemical sequestration when it is fairly widely accepted that the cheapest and most deployable form of sequestration is biological in the form of biochar.

    On a side note are you aware of any cost estimates for chemical sequestration that rely on electricity? I'm wondering if there might be a potential for renewables to play a role here (e.g. provide elctricty to the grid during the day and power a chemical CCS device at night)...

  3. -1-Len

    I was lucky to get as much space as I did ;-)

  4. Hi Roger-

    Your readers might be interested in MY correspondence in that same issue, in which I come up with a quite pessimistic view of chemical air capture. They can get a copy here: http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/dessler09d.pdf