How can CO2 be effectively removed from the atmosphere in an ecologically meaningful and economically attractive way? Quite simple: with the carbonaut system.

On 22.05.2018, the renowned Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change published a summary of several studies on how the global 1.5 degree target can be achieved.

"Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will make the world more dependent on technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. However, technology development and development as well as the launch of pilot projects are significantly lower compared to the needs of the climate change scenarios. "

The withdrawal of atmospheric CO2 via the production of biocarbons and their storage in soils is one of six proposals by the researchers. In addition to reforestation, which has a long-term effect, biocarbons are today the only technically available and economically viable option to reach the 1.5 degree target. All other technologies are currently untested, too risky or too expensive.

The same result is given by the IPCC. In his special report on the 1.5 degree objective, he notes that conventional climate change measures are not sufficient to implement the Paris Agreement target. In addition to the general avoidance of greenhouse gases, technological intervention must mitigate climate change. Here, biochar is described as the method with the least drawbacks. The only problem is how the biochar can be produced in large quantities.

The carbonaut system is the solution:

  • Existing and proven technical implementation

  • Decentralized locations wherever biomass residues are generated

  • Excellent for use in emerging and developing countries

  • Local use of biocarbons

  • Specified biocarbons for different markets

  • By-product 24/7 excess energy

Outstanding carbon footprint

The carbonaut system not only ensures direct withdrawal and permanent fixation of atmospheric CO2. By eliminating or replacing petroleum-based products, the overriding lifecycle avoids the generation of CO2. Petroleum products require energy-intensive development, extraction, transportation, processing, distribution, use and disposal.

In addition, our products often have better functions and effects. And last but not least, we produce a lot of excess energy in their production as a byproduct.

Use biomass as C02 storage instead of burning it

In the US, Scandinavia and Germany in the meantime, power plant operators are increasingly turning to burning biomass instead of coal - such as wood pellets or waste from agriculture and forestry. In contrast to coal, biomass is considered to be CO2-neutral, because only the greenhouse gas released by burning, which also absorbed the plants during their growth.

However, a new study by the British Open University now shows that the direct burning of biomass is not always the most climate-friendly option. Heating the material with the help of thermal decomposition results in a better environmental balance. In so-called pyrolysis, which is carried out under extensive oxygen termination, methane, hydrogen and other by-products are released from the biomass, which are suitable for energy production. The additional charcoal could simply be buried.

Malcolm Fowles, professor of technology management at the Open University, who wrote the study, explains: "Burning a ton of wood pellets saves 357 kilograms of CO2 compared to burning coal - but with the same energy content Charcoal saves up to 372 kilograms ". 300 kilograms land as charcoal in the soil, while 72 kilograms would be saved by burning only the by-products. Such an approach also has an added value: "If you dig up charcoal, you improve the soil and accelerate the growth of trees and crops, which will later absorb even more CO2." Researchers believe that charcoal, a porous and inactive substance, helps the soil retain water and nutrients. Also microorganisms, which ensure the fertility of the soil, are transported.

Johannes Lehmann, junior professor of plant and soil science at Cornell University and a charcoal expert, estimates that up to 9.5 billion tonnes of CO2 could be saved through charcoal detour, more than currently generated by the burning of fossil fuels worldwide: " Bioenergy through pyrolysis in combination with sequestration is a technology that could give us energy while benefiting the environment in several ways. "