What’s a promising way of removing carbon from the atmosphere? Scientists attending climate talks in Poznan, Poland, are trying to sell the idea of biochar, a type of charcoal produced when biomass like agricultural and forest residue is “baked” in the absense of oxygen. This process, called pyrolysis, also produces syngas and bio-oil that can be used as a renewable fuel. But it’s the char or “black carbon” that’s capturing scientists’ imagination. The pyrolysis process locks carbon into the char, which remains stable for hundreds, potentially thousands of years. Continue reading Biochar gets some attention at Poznan as a measurable way of sequestering carbon
Prof. David Keith, a well-respected climate-change scientist from the University of Calgary, believes it’s possible to design a machine that can snatch carbon dioxide out of ambient air. In fact, he knows it can be done — he has built the machine to do it. Now the challenge is to scale it up and make it more economical.
Keith and a team at the university announced this past week what he admits comes across as “absurd,” but after years of study and experimentation his efforts are paying off. The team has demonstrated the capture of CO2 directly from the air using less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per ton of carbon dioxide. It means the electricity from a coal-fired plant could be used to capture 10 times as much CO2 as the power plant itself emitted. Continue reading Capturing carbon out of thin air?