geoengineering explained: the benefits and challenges of bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration

The production of bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration is considered a form of carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The process begins by growing biomass, burning it to create energy and finally capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide created in the process. Negative CO2 emissions are generated by combining bio-energy production [biomass fuel power stations, pulp mills and biofuel plants] with carbon capture and storage technology, allowing carbon dioxide to be captured from the atmosphere and remitted back underground. 

BENEFITS

CHALLENGES

  • Can be fueled by any non-fossilized material of biological origin
  • Encourages the use of renewable energy sources
  • Provides opportunities for intersectoral collaborations and partnership development
  • Dependent on the cost of carbon emissions and the prices must be high enough for the process to be economically viable
  • Unproven technology that is expensive to develop.
  • Can only be applied to biomass to yield “negative emission” energy
  • A large number of operations are necessary in order to achieve results

see also:

Question: What is geoengineering?

Albedo Enhancement

Space Reflectors
Stratospheric Aerosols

Afforestation
Ambient Air Capture
Biochar
Bioenergy Capture and Sequestration
Ocean Fertilization
Enhanced Weathering
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

sources:

BECCS – Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.thenaturalstep.org
International Energy Agency. (2011). Combining Bioenergy with CSS. Retrieved from iea.org: http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/bioenergy_ccs.pdf

geoengineering explained: the benefits and challenges of ocean fertilization

Ocean fertilization is an untested carbon dioxide sequestration (CDR) technique that involves dissolving nitrates or iron into the water which will encourage an increase in carbon uptake by phytoplankton. After the plankton blooms, it dies and then sinks to the ocean floor where the carbon will be stored as sedimentary rock.

BENEFITS

CHALLENGES

  • Relatively safe
  • Will slow the rate of ocean acidification
  • Does not directly change the actively changing climate, rather it slows future climate change
  • Will alter marine systems creating new potential problems
  • Will cause and/or accelerate ocean eutrophication

 

see also:

Question: What is geoengineering?

Albedo Enhancement

Space Reflectors
Stratospheric Aerosols

Afforestation
Ambient Air Capture
Biochar
Bioenergy Capture and Sequestration
Ocean Fertilization
Enhanced Weathering
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

sources:
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2014). Ocean Fertilization. Retrieved from Britannica.com: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1563580/ocean-fertilization
LePage, M. (2012, September 20). The pros and cons of geoengineering. Retrieved from www.newscientist.com

geoengineering explained: the advantages and disadvantages of ambient air capture

Ambient air capture, a form of carbon dioxide sequestration (CDR), involves building large machines that can remove carbon dioxide directly from the ambient air so that the captured CO2 can be stored elsewhere. The three steps of the air capture process are:

  1. Contacting the air
  2. Absorption or adsorption on a sorbent
  3. Recovery of the sorbent

 

aircap_simplewhatis
the process of ambient air capture, image credit: carbonengineering.com

 

BENEFITS

DISADVANTAGES

  • Manages emissions originating from any source
  • Full-scale operations are able to absorb significant amounts of carbon, e.g. emissions from 300,000 cars
  • Can remove far more CO2 per acre of land footprint than trees and plants
  • Enables the direct extraction of CO2 from the atmosphere
  • Requires an energy source
  • Large volumes of air must be processed in order to collect meaningful amounts of CO2
  • Expensive

 

image-20150803-6016-156ods
ambient air capture, image credit: centerforcarbonremoval.org

 

see also:

Question: What is geoengineering?

Albedo Enhancement

Space Reflectors
Stratospheric Aerosols

Afforestation
Ambient Air Capture
Biochar
Bioenergy Capture and Sequestration
Ocean Fertilization
Enhanced Weathering
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

sources:
Carbon Engineering Ltd. (n.d.). What is air capture? Retrieved from http://www.carbonengineering.com
Lackner, K. S., Brennan, S., Matter, J. M., Park, A.-H. A., Wright, A., & Zwaan, B. v. (2012, June 28). The urgency of the development of CO2 capture from ambient air. Retrieved from http://www.energy.columbia.edu

geoengineering explained: the benefits and challenges of afforestation

Afforestation is the process of planting trees, or sowing seeds, in a barren land devoid of any trees to create a forest. The term should not be confused with reforestation, which is the process of specifically planting native trees into a forest that has decreasing numbers of trees. The increased number of trees helps to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. Accordingly, this form of geoengineering is considered carbon dioxide removal (CDR).

BENEFITS

CHALLENGES

  • Improves ground water quality
  • Increases the supply of timber and charcoal
  • Provides employment
  • Creates new wildlife habitats
  • Visually attractive
  • Stabilizes river banks and prevents flooding
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Real opportunity costs – the land used for afforestation will not be available for other uses, such as housing and food production
  • Must be applied on a global scale to have a significant impact

see also:

Question: What is geoengineering?

Albedo Enhancement

Space Reflectors
Stratospheric Aerosols

Afforestation
Ambient Air Capture
Biochar
Bioenergy Capture and Sequestration
Ocean Fertilization
Enhanced Weathering
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

sources:

Gupta, A. (2010, October 18). Afforestation: Meaning, Importance and Current Efforts. Retrieved from Bright Hub: http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/91133.aspx
Economist. (2012, July 19). Advantages and Disadvantages of Afforestation. Retrieved from Infobarrel: http://www.infobarrel.com/Advantages_and_Disadvantages_of_Afforestation