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Carbon Sequestration

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Types of carbon sequestration


MIT research -- https://sequestration.mit.edu/

Carbon sequestration is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It complements two other major approaches for greenhouse gas reduction, namely improving energy efficiency and increasing use of non-carbon energy sources. Interest has been increasing in the carbon sequestration option because it is very compatible with the large energy production and delivery infrastructure now in place. All three approaches will need to make significant contributions in order to meet the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, that is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) conference, 2014, large scale projects and warnings / http://www.technologyreview.com/news/531531/carbon-sequestration-too-little-too-late/

Large-scale projects bring numerous problematic aspects and large-scale geoengineering has extensive potential for 'erring'.

The alternative is in widespread smaller-scale natural 'geo-projects' to reduce carbon emissions, including via sequestration.

Carbon cycle NOAA.jpg

Green Policies and Practices to Address Climate Change with Biology, Soil Improvement, Photosynthesis

On an small scale, how can we address the carbon issues of climate change. Among many approaches, one green practice, is achieved through smart agriculture and has potential to provide effective carbon sequestration.

"Carbon farming" is a name for the practice of carbon sequestration, a type of'geoengineering' appropriate at the local level where, for example, farmers and market gardeners can make a difference, a 'humus' difference. Carbon farming can act to sequester CO2 in the soil (as opposed to large, petro-chemical industrial agriculture practices.)

A shift to agricultural practices that are sustainable and act to reduce carbon emissions is a direction where 'alternative agriculture' addresses climate change.

"Although too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a pollutant, carbon is a valuable resource in the soil"

Start your research by taking a look at the writing of Maynard Kaufman, Michigan, US.


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More on alternative ag to reduce carbon in the atmosphere

It is time for the conversation about climate change to shift from problems to solutions.

For too long we have learned how serious this problem is, how it contributes to the loss of biodiversity or even, some assert, to the extinction of human life on earth.

The net result of this focus on the problem of climate change is that people have become hopeless and fatalistic while carbon emissions continue to rise. Many people can recognize the scientific truth about climate change on an intellectual level and still deny it on an emotional level because it is too overwhelming. Such split consciousness leads to confusion and paralysis.

The solution to climate change is to reduce carbon emissions and to get the excess carbon dioxide out of the air. Part of this task is political; we need policies, such as a tax on carbon, that could curtail the burning of fossil fuels, which causes most of global warming. Even this is daunting at a time when large energy corporations seem to control policies. But much carbon dioxide, as much as a third or more of the total, also escaped from the soil because of deforestation and agricultural practices. Can this carbon dioxide be sequestered back into the soil and stored in plants? This is the question explored in this paper.

It is possible to sequester carbon in natural ways that are beneficial to life on the planet. Once we understand this we can move from hopelessness to hopefulness. This is especially true if many of us can actually participate in solutions to global warming. Rising prices for energy and food are already pressuring social changes as new attitudes about food raising emerge. Unused land in many cities opens possibilities for urban gardening, and rising unemployment opens the need and time to do so. Also evident is new interest in a back-to-the-land movement motivated by rising food prices. In view of such trends, this paper disagrees with many writers about climate change who simply assume that our future will be shaped by business as usual with increasing emissions of carbon dioxide.

It will be helpful, as we look at ways to sequester carbon dioxide, to have a clear understanding of how it is emitted. The burning of fossil fuels has already been mentioned, and it is certainly a major factor. Deforestation is also recognized as a cause of global warming, along with agricultural practices such as plowing. The amounts here are much more difficult to quantify than carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, and where hard data is not available some scientific writers seem to avoid the issue. This would be a serious error, because if we fail to see that carbon is in soil, how it escaped from the soil, and how it could be sequestered back into the soil, we miss an important opportunity...


This happens naturally in photosynthesis as sunshine uses carbon dioxide in the air to make plants grow and provides oxygen in the process. As the plants decompose and their organic matter is worked into the soil, some carbon is sequestered. But this requires a living soil, in which the soil micro-organisms and larger organisms, such as earthworms, have not been damaged by chemicals.

Most of the details in the preceding paragraphs were based on my many years of experience as a part-time organic farmer who was also an Environmental Studies professor trying to understand what he was doing. The emphasis on organic matter in the soil (carbon), and its loss after hundreds of years of plowing, has also been reviewed by Albert Bates in The Biochar Revolution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change. He reports that soil scientist Rattan Lal at Ohio State University found that, with better carbon management practices, soils in the continental US could soak up 330 million tons of carbon each year, more than the emissions from cars, and improve food production by 12%.

Several books on the details of carbon offsets have been published recently. One that supports carbon sequestration in soils and forests is Harnessing Farms and Forests in the Low Carbon Economy: How to Create, Measure, and Verify Greenhouse Gas Offsets and it was edited by Zach Willey and Bill Chameides. This book was intended to help those whose business causes carbon emissions to purchase carbon credits or offsets from land owners who can sequester carbon. Some trading like this already happens in other countries. If a “cap and trade” program is mandated in the US a book like this will be indispensable.

-- MF

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Agricultural Practices and Carbon Sequestration Fact Sheet / Union of Concerned Scientists



Maximizing Soil Carbon Sequestration: Carbon Farming and Rotational Grazing

While the potential for trees to store carbon is well-known, fewer people are aware of soil carbon sequestration. It is possible that rotational grazing practices can not only support the carbon holding capacity of soils, but also combine raising livestock with the emerging field of carbon farming.


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Carbon Sequestration




Carbon Fixation


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Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and sequestration (CCS) is a set of technologies that can greatly reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources. CCS is a three-step process that includes:

Capture of CO2 from power plants or industrial processes

Transport of the captured and compressed CO2 (usually in pipelines).

Underground injection and geologic sequestration (also referred to as storage) of the CO2 into deep underground rock formations. These formations are often a mile or more beneath the surface and consist of porous rock that holds the CO2. Overlying these formations are impermeable, non-porous layers of rock that trap the CO2 and prevent it from migrating upward.

The figure below illustrates the general CCS process and shows a typical depth at which CO2 would be injected. Watch the following videos to learn more about how CCS works:


Where can captured carbon dioxide be stored?





After capture, carbon dioxide (CO2) is compressed and then transported to a site where it is injected underground for permanent storage (also known as "sequestration"). CO2 is commonly transported by pipeline, but it can also be transported by train, truck, or ship. Geologic formations suitable for sequestration include depleted oil and gas fields, deep coal seams, and saline formations. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that anywhere from 1,800 to 20,000 billion metric tons of CO2 could be stored underground in the United States. [2] That is equivalent to 600 to 6,700 years of current level emissions from large stationary sources in the United States. [3]

Overview of Geologic Storage Potential in the United States (Source: U.S. Department of Energy, NATCARB)

Potential sequestration sites must undergo appropriate site characterization to ensure that the site can safely and securely store CO2. After being transported to the sequestration site, the compressed CO2 is injected deep underground into solid, but porous rock, such as sandstone, shale, dolomite, basalt, or deep coal seams. Suitable formations for CO2 sequestration are located under one or more layers of cap rock, which trap the CO2 and prevent upward migration. These sites are then rigorously monitored to ensure that the CO2 remains permanently underground. The safety and security of CO2 geologic sequestration is a priority for EPA.


Carbon Sequester Tags:

Carbon Farming

Carbon Sequestration



Humification Process

No-till Agriculture

Organic Agriculture

Perennial food crops

Regenerative Agriculture

Restoration Agriculture

Tree crops

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