Thursday, February 13, 2020

Short Brief on the State of Carbon Capture Research

Research into carbon capture and sequestration has shown both promise and disappointment. A 2010 study indicated that "negative emission technologies…significantly enhances the possibility to meet low concentration targets" (Azar et al, 2010). The American Geophysical Union has also called for further research (Landau, 2018). A recent article published in the Cambridge University Press called for a research agenda on NETS and stated: "There are many technological solutions to address climate change but unfortunately there are no silver bullets" (Nekuda, 2019).

A 2016 paper called the assumption that these technologies and concepts will work to scale in time a "moral hazard” (Anderson & Peters, 2016). However, Friedmann responded by saying "CO2 removal has gone from a moral hazard to a moral imperative." (Welch, 2019).

As succinctly stated in Physics Today, we need increased R&D to scale NETs (Kramer, 2020). As explained by Dr Glen Peters from the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research "we need to focus on getting things deployed that we know already work and at the same time we also need to focus on developing new technologies that will help us go the last part of the journey," (McGrath, 2017).

Roger Aines, the chief scientist of the energy program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory explained, "we have to get started" with widely employing technologies capable of removing CO2 from the air. "It’s the question of how to get started," he said (Ross, 2018).

Why We Need Carbon Capture and Sequestration


Anderson, K., Peters, G. 2016. The trouble with negative emissions. Science, 14 Oct 2016: Vol. 354, Issue 6309, pp. 182-183. DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4567 Available online at Accessed on January 5, 2020.

Azar, C. A., Lindgren, K., Obersteiner, M., & Riahi, K., Vuuren, Detlef, M., Elzen, M., Möllersten, K., Larson, E., Elzen. 2010. The feasibility of low CO 2 concentration targets and the role of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Climatic Change. 100. 195-202. 10.1007/s10584-010-9832-7. Available online at Accessed on January 19, 2020.

Kramer, D. 2020. Negative carbon dioxide emissions. Physics Today 73, 1, 44 (2020), Available online at Accessed January 15, 2020.

Landau, E. 2018. Revised AGU Position Statement Addresses Climate Intervention. Eos, 99. doi: 10.1029/2018eo091015 Available online at Accessed on January 3, 2020.

McGrath., M. 2017. Climate's magic rabbit: Pulling CO2 out of thin air. BBC. 15 November 2017. Available online at Accessed on December 27, 2019.

Nekuda Malik, J.A. 2019. US Academies call for research agenda on Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration. Volume 44, Issue 1 (Mechanical Behavior of Nanocomposites) January 2019 , pp. 13-15. DOI: Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 January 2019. Available online at Accessed on January 22, 2020.

Ross, D. 2018. Carbon Capture: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Climate Change Truthout. October 16, 2018. Available online at Accessed on December 30, 2019.

Welch, C. 2019. To curb climate change, we have to suck carbon from the sky. But how? National Geographic. Available online at Accessed on December 20, 2019.

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