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Why humans are putting a bunch of ‘coal’ and ‘oil’ back in the ground

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Wired or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Innovations in carbon removal technologies are gaining attention, with a focus on transforming agricultural and other waste biomass into solid carbon, essentially reversing the coal formation process
This method, involving pyrolysis, is being highlighted as a potential tool for carbon sequestration

🔭 The context: The process involves heating biomass in a low-oxygen environment, transforming it into concentrated carbon
This is different from bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, as it uses waste biomass instead of crops grown for burning
The resulting product can be buried underground or used as biochar in agriculture

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: While not a substitute for reducing emissions, this carbon removal technique offers a supplementary approach to address climate change
It utilizes nature's photosynthesis process to sequester and bury carbon, potentially helping to achieve climate goals

⏭️ What's next: The challenge is scaling up this technology and integrating it into existing waste management and agricultural practices
Its success depends on balancing the demand for biomass waste and ensuring that carbon removal doesn't become an excuse to avoid reducing emissions

💬 One quote: "The genius in this business model, in many ways, is letting nature do most of the work" (Gernot Wagner, Columbia Business School)

📈 One stat: Biochar accounts for 90 percent of the carbon removal market, where companies pay to offset their greenhouse gas emissions

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon


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