Science Special - Carbon Negative Materials

Carbon-negative materials are types of materials that result in the net sequestration of CO2 over their lifecycle. For these materials to actually be net-negative, the CO2 used to create these materials must be sourced from atmospheric or biogenic CO2. These materials can shift the narrative on traditionally high-polluting industries, turning CO2 from an invisible, pesky pollutant into a profitable, tangible resource to be mined from the sky! Many of the processes creating products from carbon dioxide (including cements, plastics, and nanofibers/nanotubes) are emissions-reducing or carbon-neutral today, but have pathways to become carbon-negative in the future. 

To learn more about carbon-negative materials, read the links listed below:

1. One-Pot Synthesis of Carbon Nanofibers from CO2 - This academic paper from Professor Stuart Licht at George Washington University outlines a new technique to make carbon nanofibers from atmospheric carbon dioxide. While more research needs to be done on the potential applications of these nanofibers in infrastructure and merchandise, this paper presents the first inexpensive technique of producing carbon-negative nanofibers at a high yield rate.

2. Carbon Capture and Utilisation in the Green Economy - This paper is part of a collaboration effort by CO2Chem, the Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Network, and the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN). The paper summarizes and evaluates the production processes of and future markets for carbon-neutral and carbon-negative products like plastics. It also outlines relevant international policy recommendations to develop such products.

3. Newlight: From Greenhouse Gas to Plastic - This is a video demonstrating what carbon-negative plastics look like in the real world! It features Mark Herrema, the CEO of Newlight Technologies, explaining how Newlight plastics can sequester carbon dioxide while maintaining be economic competitiveness. 

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