Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage

Hans Peter Schmidt, Andrés Anca-Couce, Nikolas Hagemann, Constanze Werner, Dieter Gerten, Wolfgang Lucht, Claudia Kammann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The growth of biomass is considered the most efficient method currently available to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, biomass carbon is easily degraded by microorganisms releasing it in the form of greenhouse gases back to the atmosphere. If biomass is pyrolyzed, the organic carbon is converted into solid (biochar), liquid (bio-oil), and gaseous (permanent pyrogas) carbonaceous products. During the last decade, biochar has been discussed as a promising option to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon, although the carbon efficiency of the thermal conversion of biomass into biochar is in the range of 30%–50% only. So far, the liquid and gaseous pyrolysis products were mainly considered for combustion, though they can equally be processed into recalcitrant forms suitable for carbon sequestration. In this review, we show that pyrolytic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) can aspire for carbon sequestration efficiencies of >70%, which is shown to be an important threshold to allow PyCCS to become a relevant negative emission technology. Prolonged residence times of pyrogenic carbon can be generated (a) within the terrestrial biosphere including the agricultural use of biochar; (b) within advanced bio-based materials as long as they are not oxidized (biochar, bio-oil); and (c) within suitable geological deposits (bio-oil and CO2 from permanent pyrogas oxidation). While pathway (c) would need major carbon taxes or similar governmental incentives to become a realistic option, pathways (a) and (b) create added economic value and could at least partly be implemented without other financial incentives. Pyrolysis technology is already well established, biochar sequestration and bio-oil sequestration in soils, respectively biomaterials, do not present ecological hazards, and global scale-up appears feasible within a time frame of 10–30 years. Thus, PyCCS could evolve into a decisive tool for global carbon governance, serving climate change mitigation and the sustainable development goals simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-591
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

Carbon capture
biochar
Carbon
carbon
Biomass
oil
biomass
oils
carbon sequestration
pyrolysis
incentive
Pyrolysis
Soils
pollution tax
liquid
carbon dioxide
atmosphere
Liquids
biobased products
Organic carbon

Keywords

  • bio-oil
  • biochar
  • carbon sequestration
  • climate mitigation
  • permanent pyrogas
  • pyrolysis
  • tCDR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Schmidt, H. P., Anca-Couce, A., Hagemann, N., Werner, C., Gerten, D., Lucht, W., & Kammann, C. (2019). Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage. GCB Bioenergy, 11(4), 573-591. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12553

Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage. / Schmidt, Hans Peter; Anca-Couce, Andrés; Hagemann, Nikolas; Werner, Constanze; Gerten, Dieter; Lucht, Wolfgang; Kammann, Claudia.

In: GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2019, p. 573-591.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Schmidt, HP, Anca-Couce, A, Hagemann, N, Werner, C, Gerten, D, Lucht, W & Kammann, C 2019, 'Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage' GCB Bioenergy, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 573-591. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12553
Schmidt HP, Anca-Couce A, Hagemann N, Werner C, Gerten D, Lucht W et al. Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage. GCB Bioenergy. 2019;11(4):573-591. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12553
Schmidt, Hans Peter ; Anca-Couce, Andrés ; Hagemann, Nikolas ; Werner, Constanze ; Gerten, Dieter ; Lucht, Wolfgang ; Kammann, Claudia. / Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage. In: GCB Bioenergy. 2019 ; Vol. 11, No. 4. pp. 573-591.
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