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Carbon Dioxide Removal


According to the Emissions Gap report, delaying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction will further increase the future dependence on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)
  2. Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Methods: A Comprehensive Overview

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)

  • Scope: Encompasses technologies, practices, and deliberate human interventions aimed at extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Climate Mitigation: Essential component of climate change mitigation efforts, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
  • Global Impact: Holds promise in addressing the escalating climate crisis by actively mitigating anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Methods: A Comprehensive Overview

  • Production Process: Generated through the controlled burning (pyrolysis) of organic waste from agricultural and forest sources.
  • Distinctive Features: Resembles charcoal but is a stable carbon form, minimizing atmospheric escape.
  • Carbon Storage: Provides a safe method for storing carbon, reducing contamination during production.
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS):
  • Process: Involves bioenergy production through combustion, with subsequent capture and storage of resulting CO2 emissions.
  • Objective: Prevents combustion emissions from contributing to the greenhouse effect.
  • Sequestration: Captures and stores photosynthetically fixed carbon post-combustion.
Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS):
  • Extraction: Directly captures CO2 from the atmosphere at any location.
  • Storage: Permanently stores captured CO2 in deep geological formations or repurposes it for other applications.
  • Technology: Uses electricity to remove CO2 from the air.
Enhanced Rock Weathering:
  • Process: Involves pulverizing silicate rocks to accelerate the typically slow weathering action.
  • Product: Yields a powdered form with increased reactive surface area, applied to agricultural lands for chemical reactions.
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement:
  • Approach: Includes adding alkaline substances to seawater to expedite the natural sink process.
  • Objective: Accelerates the absorption of CO2 by seawater, enhancing the overall carbon removal.
  • Diverse Strategies: Showcases a range of methods from pyrolysis to ocean alkalinity enhancement for deliberate carbon removal.
  • Technological Advancements: Reflects advancements in technology, offering solutions at various scales to address carbon emissions.
Overall Impact:
  • Holistic Approach: Represents a comprehensive toolkit for carbon dioxide removal, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts globally.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024