Scientists Back Efforts to Pull CO2 from the Atmosphere

From Scientific American:A new report from the National Academics calls for concerted research into “negative emissions technologies”

“The nation’s top scientists yesterday proposed the most ambitious research agenda yet to limit global warming by midcentury. It centers on “negative emissions technologies,” or NETs.

These technologies would pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and either store it underground or, as described in the second of two new reports, combine it into useful products like concrete and paving materials.”

Pacala said that extracting CO2 directly from the air was one of two technologies favored by the panels because, once developed, they appeared to have no inherent limitations. The second technology among many mentioned in the panels’ reports is called “carbon mineralization.” It takes advantage of the fact that CO2 “reacts spontaneously” with carbon-containing rocks.

CO2 can be stored in some rock formations, and it eventually becomes part of the rocks. CO2 can also be used in making certain long-lasting construction materials such as concrete and cement, products that are needed by huge markets in the United States and other nations.

Pacala noted that last week, a “sister committee” to his panel, which contained scientists and company executives, produced a report called “Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization.” It lists a number of other marketable products that may, over time, evolve from more intense climate change-connected research…”

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