Science Friday

Science Special: ARPA-E 2016 Edition

The Center for Carbon Removal was on display at the Technology Showcase at the 2016 ARPA-E conference last week in Washington D.C. It was a great forum for engaging, technology developers, investors, and policymakers in our efforts to accelerate the development of economically-viable carbon removal solutions.

In fact, the conference featured three "fast-pitch" sessions for new ARPA-E programs related to carbon removal technology innovation. Check out the slides from these pitches, below:

We were also really exited to see other friends showcasing technologies for a negative emissions future, including the ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions

Lastly, for your weekend viewing pleasure, check out these videos from ARPA-E on carbon sequestration, and our older post on the idea for an "ARPA-C" (for carbon)!

Science Special — Intro to BECCS

Welcome to this week's edition of Science Friday! Because we are focusing on BECCS this month, our first Science Friday post will serve as an introduction to the technology. 

Our BECCS must reads:

This piece, published in Nature Climate Change, explores the need for BECCS technology in accordance with IPCC projections and assesses the challenges that accompany large scale negative emissions technology deployment. 

Also published in Nature Climate Change, a UC Berkeley team shows how BECCS technology could help enable the transition to carbon negative power across western North America: "We show that BECCS, combined with aggressive renewable deployment and fossil-fuel emission reductions, can enable a carbon-negative power system in western North America by 2050 with up to 145% emissions reduction from 1990 levels."

Finally, this report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research explains the fundamentals of BECCS technology along with some important considerations to the applications of BECCS that will result in truly negative emissions. 

See you next week! 

Science Special - Carbon Negative Cement Edition

The cement industry is responsible for around 5% of all global emissions today. A number of innovators are working on ways to reduce -- and even reverse -- the climate impact of cement by turning cement into a net carbon sink. Below are three articles explaining some of the science behind these efforts for carbon negative cement. Happy Friday!

Science Special - Direct Air Capture Economics

After a long week, it's finally (Science) Friday -- which means we share our favorite links on climate change and carbon removal with you.

The American Physics Society put out a great report on the technological feasibility of direct air capture, with special consideration to costs and energy considerations. 

La Follette School of Public Affairs put out this piece on direct air capture titled, "Willingness to Pay for a Climate Backstop: liquid fuel producers and direct CO2 capture" which maps the effect of direct air capture on the fuel industry. 

Finally, this non-scientific article from The Guardian explains the short term revenue constraints to direct air capture technology development. 

Science Special - After Capture

Happy (science) Friday! Here we round up our favorite links on climate change and share them with you. This week we are focusing on what happens to CO2 after it is captured via direct air capture or from a point source. There may not be life after death, but there is life for CO2 after capture. Read more below:

This report from the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum explains the basics of, the concerns of, the options for CO2 utilization in a condensed, easy to read format. 

This link from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) maps current markets for CO2 that could help direct air capture (DAC) researchers develop a revenue generating business plan. 

Really interested with the science details of CO2 utilization? Read the latest issue of the CO2 Utilization Journal. 


Science Special - Direct Air Capture pt. 2

It's Science Friday - the weekly blog where we round up scientific articles on carbon removal and share them with you. We're still focusing on the potential of direct air capture, so the following take a policy oriented approached to advancing direct air capture technologies. 

This article from Pielke compares the cost of direct air capture to other stabilization technologies and concludes that direct air capture deserves to be included in international policy debate. 

In turn, this report from David Keith, discusses the effect of developed direct air capture technologies (running two scenarios - one with cost of capture and sequestration at $200/ton and another at $500/ton) on near term abatement pathways. 

This piece is a comment to the previous paper by David Keith explores the ability for direct air capture technology to be integrated to existing political and economic structures. 

See you next week! 

Sunday Special: Carbon Farming Video Spotlight

Here are three videos on soil carbon sequestration for your Sunday enjoyment. (Because you know what they say, seeing is believing!)

SIGN THE PETITION FOR CA HEALTHY SOILS Science meets inspiration in this tale of nature's best hidden innovation: soil. The Soil Story, created by Kiss the Ground, is a five-minute film that shares the importance of healthy soil for a healthy planet.

Meet Allen Williams, Gabe Brown and Neil Dennis - heroes and innovators! These ranchers now know how to regenerate their soils while making their animals healthier and their operations more profitable. They are turning ON their soils, enabling rainwater to sink into the earth rather than run off. And these turned ON soils retain that water, so the ranches are much more resilient in drought. It's an amazing story that has just begun.

"It's possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems." Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits for people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally. Follow John D.

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Science Special - Agroforestry

Welcome to Science Friday, agroforestry edition! We have pulled together some of our favorite links on agroforestry and its potential to help mitigate climate change. 

  • According to the USDA National Agroforestry Center, agroforestry is "a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems." Check out the USDA factsheet for more information.
  • The use of agroforestry isn not limited to the United States though - carbon sequestration is tropical agroforestry systems could store up to 1.1-2.2 billion tons of carbon over the next 50 years, according to this report in Agriculture, Ecosystems, and the Environment
  • This report from Oxford shows the ability for agroforestry systems to be integrated into carbon offset schemes. 


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Science Friday - Carbon Sequestration in Croplands

On Fridays, we round up our favorite resources on climate change and carbon removal to share with you. In week three of agriculture month, we are focusing on carbon sequestration on croplands. 

  • Almost 41% of US land is utilized for agriculture in some way. Such a huge area of land, the USDA put out a report on greenhouse gas mitigation options across the ag industry, with a specific focus on costs. 
  • Cropland sequestration can be enhanced through a variety of practices, but modified tilling is one of the most popular approaches. Researchers at US DOE compare the net carbon flux of several tilling practices. 
  • More interested in the social science side of things? Researchers at Ohio State examine the impacts soil carbon sequestration can have on food security globally.

Enjoy the weekend and stay tuned for our carbon farming fact sheet! 


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Science Special - Ranching

Welcome to this week's issue of Science Friday! Since it's agriculture month here at the Center For Carbon Removal, we are focusing this week's links on research around ranching as a way to sequester carbon.

  • It's summer, but class is still in session... Vocab class that is. Your new word for the week is carbon farming (n). - farming practices that increase the soil carbon content. Read up here.
  • Do rangeland systems have the potential to mitigate climate change? Researchers from UC Berkeley say that certain ranching management practices can enhance carbon storage and increase land resiliency.
  • This analysis investigates the cost competitiveness and other obstacles for ranching soil carbon offsets that can be integrated into carbon trading schemes (especially relevant seeing that many states are considering using carbon trading to meet Clean Power Plan goals).

Let us know if we missed any important carbon farming "must reads"!

Science Special

On Fridays, we round up our favorite science links on climate change and share them with you: 

  • Your new vocabulary word for the week: biochar (n.) - carbon-rich organic matter that remains after heating biomass under the minimization of oxygen during a process called pyrolysis. The World Bank wrote an important report on biochar science, benefits, and risks in the context of developing countries. Find it here
  • "Betting on Negative Emissions" was featured in Nature Climate Change and deftly explains the obstacles carbon removal faces.


  • Breaking study: rainwater and irrigation in deserts may be taking up to 200 MtC/yr out of the atmosphere and into the subsurface aquifers. The authors argue it could be a significant part of the "missing sink" that's typically but controversially attributed only to forests. 

Science Special

On Fridays, we round up our favorite science links on climate change and share them with you:

  • For all our scientist followers - Environmental Research Letters has a special issue on negative emissions. Details on paper submission are here. 
  • Carbon removal is in dire need of policy support. What would that look like? James Meadowcroft lays out short and long term policy options for carbon removal. 
  • Vocabulary lesson of the week: BECCS (noun.) - biomass energy with carbon capture and storage. For potential and constraints, read up.
  • Brown and Cotton show the results from their field trials across California on carbon soil sequestration after the application of compost. Beneficial use of otherwise landfill waste, increased nitrogen, water retention, and increased soil carbon levels are just a few key reasons why further research and implementation are needed. 



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