Last Meeting (12/2/20)
Last Wednesday we spoke with Sam Savitz, an analyst, and one of our close partners for our Energy Futures Initiative collaboration. We discussed carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in general, its current state, and its future. As it is right now, it’s clear that CDR technology is going to be necessary to stay below even 2 degrees of warming. However, the only CDR technologies that are really ready for implementation are natural pathways, meaning the need for much more research and development for technological pathways, which have been modeled to possibly being more cost effective than natural pathways in the future. The main CDR pathways in discussion now, though, are still direct air capture and BECCS, and this is where our conversation picked up.
Sam and EFI have been very excited about the future, especially with their CEO Ernest Moniz being considered as the secretary of energy for the Biden administration, and as well with several new CDR pathways being researched. Of the new pathways we discussed, the first was terrestrial technology enhanced CDR. The idea here is that with the advent of extremely advanced GMO techniques, we can engineer plants to absorb more CO2, and increase soil carbo percentages, helping increase soil fertility. The second were several marine CDR pathways, such as cultivating seaweed, and sinking it to the ocean floor where it’s carbon won’t be decomposed into CO2. The marine pathways are becoming more and more important as we reach a breaking point with coral reef death and ocean acidification. Finally we talked about an alternative method of sequestration in the mineralization of carbon into ultra-mafic rocks. This idea takes reactive minerals and exposes them to high concentration CO2 streams so that they naturally fracture, expose more mineral, and permanently sequester CO2. As well, mining tailings (refuse) naturally absorb CO2 likewise, and is already a high surface area by-product, and is finally being used for this obvious potential.
For anyone who missed the meeting please go to the google drive > Membership > Meeting Videos and watch the general meeting 7 there !