11.10.2021

# New Publications

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Saeed Arabi, S. M.; et al. (2021): Capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide by depleting inorganic carbon in municipal wastewater

Arabi, S. SaeedM.; Alicata, Jackson; Hanigan, David; Hiibel, Sage R. (2021): Capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide by depleting inorganic carbon in municipal wastewater. In International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 111, p. 103472. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2021.103472.

"CO2 removal from the atmosphere will likely be necessary to limit global warming to 2 ℃. Existing wastewater infrastructure in the U.S. conveys a total of 588 Mt of inorganic carbon to wastewater treatment plants, which are designed to remove organic carbon, but do not remove the inorganic fraction. We believe that embedded energy used for wastewater conveyance may be leveraged to remove inorganic carbon and produce wastewater treatment plants that are net carbon negative. To demonstrate this, we optimized a bench-scale wastewater carbon-capture system composed of a gas permeable membrane and a pressurized feed. We investigated the effects of multiple physicochemical parameters on inorganic carbon removal. The best performance resulted in removal of 15% inorganic carbon from the feed stream. Deploying similar full-scale systems across U.S. wastewater infrastructure without addition of acid would remove up to 12.9 Mt-C/yr. Hydrochrloric acid addition to one pH unit below the bicarbonate pKa would increase removal to 30.5 Mt-C/yr, but this is partially offset by CO2 emissions from hydrochloric acid production, resulting in a net removal of 22.6 Mt-C/yr. Further research should focus on increasing removal efficiency, which, at 100% removal, would offset 11.2% of total U.S. CO2 gas emissions."

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11.10.2021

# Media

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Podcast: How scence fiction can inspire humanity's response to the climate crisis (The Conversation)

"Chris Pak, lecturer in English Literature at Swansea University, explores the history of science fiction stories about terraforming, geoengineering, space and climate change. As COP26, the UN climate change conference in Glasgow, approaches Pak says authors of science fiction are consulted by organisations and governments to help us think about the risks and challenges of the future in ways inaccessible to other disciplines. He says we urgently need more of this imaginative impulse."

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11.10.2021

# Media

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Podcast: September's cig carbontech funding announcements (Carbon Removal Newsroom)

"In this business-focused episode of Carbon Removal Newsroom, we’re discussing the major carbontech funding announcements that occurred throughout September, along with the news from Norway’s $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund that they’ll be requiring their portfolio holdings to go net-zero."

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11.10.2021

# Media

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Podcast: New Research Checks the Math of Large-Scale Tree Planting (Carbon Removal Newsroom)

"First this week, we're looking at new research schowing "Limited effects of tree planting on forest canopy cover and rural livelihoods in Northern India," and understanding why one researcher referred to the large-scale tree planting program in Northern India as a failure. We explain the significance of these research findings and the potential improvements necessary to ensure that tree planting achieves its stated goals of sequestering carbon dioxide, increasing biodiversity, and improving the livelihoods of local communities. Plus, a recent Twitter thread from German journalist Tin Fischer tells the story of a “Trillion Trees,” a figure that hardly held substance when first suggested, then took off in popular culture faster than climate scientists could shut it down. While it’s a catchy idea, the scientific paper used to support Trillion Trees in 2017 was widely critiqued for miscalculations and ultimately rescinded. We look at why this idea gained so much traction and what the realistic role of large-scale tree planting might be in drawing down carbon and addressing climate change. Finally, we put reforestation up against the portfolio of carbon removal solutions, looking at where it fits in and how it should be funded."

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11.10.2021

# Media

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Video: Recording: Webinar: Negative emissions and net zero: how do technologies for carbon dioxide removal measure up? (CCUS Projects Network)

"The European Union is committed to keeping the average temperature rise to well below 2°C, preferably closer to 1.5°C, which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) requires bringing global GHG emissions to net zero by 2050. The IPCC scenarios show that alongside implementing other climate mitigation policies it is essential to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, known as carbon dioxide removal (CDR) which includes negative emission technologies (NETs). Various options are being reviewed and discussed, including both nature-based solutions and CCS-based solutions. The most common CCS-related solutions identified are direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) and CCS on energy production from biomass (BECCS). This event will discuss policy mechanisms for the delivery of CDR, storage longevity and the role of offsetting, and present some real project examples and the potential range of biogenic sources that combined with CCS can enable CDR."

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10.10.2021

# New Publications

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van Schagen, T. N.; et al. (2021): Development of a novel, through-flow microwave-based regenerator for sorbent-based direct air capture

van Schagen, T. N.; van der Wal, P. J.; Brilman, D.W.F. (2021): Development of a novel, through-flow microwave-based regenerator for sorbent-based direct air capture. In Chemical Engineering Journal Advances 42 (8), p. 100187. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceja.2021.100187.

"In this work an all-electric regenerator is developed for the desorption of CO2 from air-capture sorbents using microwaves. An electromagnetic model was made for a continuous flow radial desorber and its dimensions were optimised for maximal microwave utilisation. Based on the optimal dimensions an actual prototype, capable of desorbing CO2 from a commercial supported amine sorbent in fixed- or moving-bed configuration was built to demonstrate the concept and to study performance characteristics. TSA experiments using nitrogen as purge gas to produce enriched air (1 to 2 vol. % CO2) were done. Productivities of up to 1.5 kg CO2/kgsorb./d were demonstrated, with a total energy duty of 25 MJ/kgCO2. Compared to traditional TVSA desorption, the energy duty is similar while the productivity is significantly higher. The process can be further improved by creating an even more homogeneous electric field (preventing hot spots in the regenerator) and by enabling desorption under vacuum conditions to produce pure CO2. Overall, microwave desorption is demonstrated as an effective way to circumvent heat transfer limitations present during more traditional thermal desorption processes using polymeric sorbents."

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10.10.2021

# New Publications

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Kieft, Brandon; et al. (2021): Phytoplankton exudates and lysates support distinct microbial consortia with specialized metabolic and ecophysiological traits

Kieft, Brandon; Li, Zhou; Bryson, Samuel; Hettich, Robert L.; Pan, Chongle; Mayali, Xavier; Mueller, Ryan S. (2021): Phytoplankton exudates and lysates support distinct microbial consortia with specialized metabolic and ecophysiological traits. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118 (41). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2101178118.

"Blooms of marine phytoplankton fix complex pools of dissolved organic matter (DOM) that are thought to be partitioned among hundreds of heterotrophic microbes at the base of the food web. While the relationship between microbial consumers and phytoplankton DOM is a key component of marine carbon cycling, microbial loop metabolism is largely understood from model organisms and substrates. Here, we took an untargeted approach to measure and analyze partitioning of four distinct phytoplankton-derived DOM pools among heterotrophic populations in a natural microbial community using a combination of ecogenomics, stable isotope probing (SIP), and proteomics. Each 13C-labeled exudate or lysate from a diatom or a picocyanobacterium was preferentially assimilated by different heterotrophic taxa with specialized metabolic and physiological adaptations."

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10.10.2021

# New Publications

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Haque, Fatima; et al. (2021): Urban Farming with Enhanced Rock Weathering As a Prospective Climate Stabilization Wedge

Haque, Fatima; Santos, Rafael M.; Chiang, Yi Wai (2021): Urban Farming with Enhanced Rock Weathering As a Prospective Climate Stabilization Wedge. In Environmental science & technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c04111.

"With no single carbon capture and sequestration solution able to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5–2.0 °C by 2100, additional climate stabilization measures are needed to complement current mitigation approaches. Urban farming presents an easy-to-adopt pathway toward carbon neutrality, unlocking extensive urban surface areas that can be leveraged to grow food while sequestering CO2. Urban farming involves extensive surface areas, such as roofs, balconies, and vertical spaces, allowing for soil presence and atmospheric carbon sequestration through air-to-soil contact. In this viewpoint we also advocate the incorporation of enhanced rock weathering (ERW) into urban farming, providing a further opportunity for this recognized negative emissions technology that is gaining momentum worldwide to gain greater utilization."

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10.10.2021

# Media

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Yale Climate Connections: What is geoengineering? … and why it’s a ‘break glass’ plan

"Everyday wisdom tells us it’s much better to avoid a problem than to try to fix it afterward. That’s one reason cutting greenhouse emissions is by far the preferred option for limiting climate change. Yet society has dragged its collective heels on climate action for decades, and it’s unclear whether the world will achieve the roughly 50% emission cuts this decade that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deems essential to avert the worst consequences of a human-warmed planet. Enter the notion of geoengineering. Often referred to as “climate intervention” or “climate-altering technologies,” geoengineering refers to the idea of messing with the climate system that humans have already been messing up – this time in an effort to turn back the clock and restabilize the climate."

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08.10.2021

# New Publications

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Joppa, Lucas; et al. (2021): Microsoft's million-tonne CO2-removal purchase - lessons for net zero

Joppa, Lucas; Luers, Amy; Willmott, Elizabeth; Friedmann, S. Julio; Hamburg, Steven P.; Broze, Rafael (2021): Microsoft's million-tonne CO2-removal purchase - lessons for net zero. In Nature 597 (7878), pp. 629–632. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-02606-3.

"Strengthen markets, measures and definitions for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to fight climate change. In January this year, Microsoft made a major announcement: it had paid for the removal of 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Among its purchases were projects to expand forests in Peru, Nicaragua and the United States, as well as initiatives to regenerate soil across US farms. [...] Here we summarize the lessons learnt from Microsoft’s carbon-removal efforts, along with those from another early corporate procurement — the $9-million purchases of carbon removal in 2020 and 2021 by the US–Irish financial-infrastructure company Stripe. Although these are just two companies’ efforts, they are the first significant open solicitations focused exclusively on carbon removal. We write as a team composed of Microsoft staff working on the company’s carbon-negative programme and research scientists who analyse carbon reduction and removal strategies."

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