The Carbon Sink Solution(s)

Hans-Peter Schmidt

Playlists: 'rc3-2021' videos starting here / audio

To limit climate change to a temperature-rise of 2 °C, at least 220 billion metric tons of carbon must be extracted from the atmosphere and sequestered in terrestrial C-sinks. Using smart Carbon Farming approaches combined with pyrolysis to produce biochar and oil is the only Negative Emission Technology ready to scale. The so-called Pyrogenic Carbon Capture and Storage (PyCCS) solution could achieve one-third of the global sink capacity needed by 2050. However, it would need around 400,000 industrial pyrolysis plants to be commissioned in the next 25 years. To reach this enormous number of industrial plants in such a short time, the exponential growth of pyrolysis plant production from currently about 100 plants to an annual output of more than 100,000 plants per year would be required. But from that point on, no additional pyrolysis plants will be needed anymore because the global limit of sustainable biomass production would be reached. Given the planetary boundaries and urgency of climate action, economical adaptation to exponential growth followed by the exponential shrinking of production capacities will be the new paradigm. An unprecedented social-economic challenge, and opportunity.