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  Potential and costs of carbon dioxide removal by enhanced weathering of rocks

Strefler, J., Amann, T., Bauer, N., Kriegler, E., Hartmann, J. (2018): Potential and costs of carbon dioxide removal by enhanced weathering of rocks. - Environmental Research Letters, 13, 3, 034010.
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaa9c4

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Item Permalink: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_22335 Version Permalink: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_22335_3
Genre: Journal Article

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Strefler, Jessica1, Author              
Amann, T.2, Author
Bauer, Nicolas1, Author              
Kriegler, Elmar1, Author              
Hartmann, J.2, Author
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1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, ou_persistent13              
2External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: The chemical weathering of rocks currently absorbs about 1.1 Gt CO2 a−1 being mainly stored as bicarbonate in the ocean. An enhancement of this slow natural process could remove substantial amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, aiming to offset some unavoidable anthropogenic emissions in order to comply with the Paris Agreement, while at the same time it may decrease ocean acidification. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of economic costs, energy requirements, technical parameterization, and global and regional carbon removal potential. The crucial parameters defining this potential are the grain size and weathering rates. The main uncertainties about the potential relate to weathering rates and rock mass that can be integrated into the soil. The discussed results do not specifically address the enhancement of weathering through microbial processes, feedback of geogenic nutrient release, and bioturbation. We do not only assess dunite rock, predominantly bearing olivine (in the form of forsterite) as the mineral that has been previously proposed to be best suited for carbon removal, but focus also on basaltic rock to minimize potential negative side effects. Our results show that enhanced weathering is an option for carbon dioxide removal that could be competitive already at 60 US $ t−1 CO2 removed for dunite, but only at 200 US $ t−1 CO2 removed for basalt. The potential carbon removal on cropland areas could be as large as 95 Gt CO2 a−1 for dunite and 4.9 Gt CO2 a−1 for basalt. The best suited locations are warm and humid areas, particularly in India, Brazil, South-East Asia and China, where almost 75% of the global potential can be realized. This work presents a techno-economic assessment framework, which also allows for the incorporation of further processes.

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 Dates: 2018
 Publication Status: Finally published
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa9c4
PIKDOMAIN: Sustainable Solutions - Research Domain III
eDoc: 8025
Research topic keyword: CO2 Removal
Research topic keyword: 1.5/2°C limit
Regional keyword: Global
Organisational keyword: RD3 - Transformation Pathways
OATYPE: Gold Open Access
 Degree: -

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Title: Environmental Research Letters
Source Genre: Journal, SCI, Scopus, p3, oa
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 13 (3) Sequence Number: 034010 Start / End Page: - Identifier: CoNE: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/cone/journals/resource/150326
Publisher: IOP Publishing