What is Carbon Sequestration?
Carbon sequestration refers to the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere in various natural or artificial reservoirs to mitigate its impact on climate change. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to global warming and other environmental issues.
There are several methods of carbon sequestration:
Natural Carbon Sequestration: Natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and oceans naturally absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and other biological processes. Trees, for example, capture carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and store it in their biomass and soil. Oceans also play a significant role by absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon dioxide.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): This involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions produced by industrial processes, power plants, and other sources before they are released into the atmosphere. The captured CO2 is then transported and injected into geological formations such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or deep saline aquifers for long-term storage.
Enhanced Weathering: This method involves accelerating the natural process of weathering, which naturally absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Crushed rocks or minerals are spread over large areas to increase their surface area and enhance the rate of carbon dioxide absorption through chemical reactions.
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): BECCS involves growing biomass (such as plants) that absorb carbon dioxide during their growth. This biomass is then burned for energy production, with the carbon dioxide emissions captured and stored using CCS technology. The net result is the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Direct Air Capture (DAC): DAC technology directly captures carbon dioxide from the ambient air using specialized chemical processes. The captured CO2 can then be stored underground or used for various industrial purposes.
Carbon sequestration is considered an important strategy for mitigating climate change by reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, it’s important to note that while carbon sequestration can help mitigate the effects of emissions, it should not be seen as a sole solution. Reducing emissions at their source remains a crucial aspect of addressing climate change.