FEEM Research Seminar on “Near-term opportunities for carbon dioxide removal”
12:30 - 14:00
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies may be critical to achieving deep decarbonization. Yet a lack of technical and commercial maturity of CDR technologies hinders potential deployment. This talk assesses near-term opportunities to research, develop, and demonstrate CDR technologies by leveraging existing infrastructure, technologies, policies, and institutions. First, I examine the abatement potential and costs of near-term CO2 capture and sequestration from existing biorefineries in the U.S. using process engineering, spatial optimization, and lifecycle assessment. This opportunity targets low-cost CO2 capture opportunities from ethanol fermentation, incentivized by existing U.S. fuel and climate policies. Second, I propose a CDR research and development (R&D) program for the federal government of the U.S. Here, I evaluate R&D needs, relevant agency authority, barriers to coordination, and interventions to enhance R&D outcomes. These opportunities can catalyze the growth of carbon capture, transport, utilization, and sequestration, improve the lifecycle impacts of conventional biofuels, and clarify the sustainable scale of CDR.