The United Kingdom is launching a large-scale project to remove CO2 from the air, including trees, peat, stone chips and charcoal. The British government invests 30 million pounds (35 million euros) the experiment. The UK is estimated to have to remove around 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year from the air by 2050 in order to achieve net zero emissions.
British climate scientists conclude that it is impossible to keep global temperature growth within the internationally agreed 1.5°C target without both reducing emissions and removing billions of tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere by 2050.
The new tests are part of a £ 110 million government program that also includes testing the use of technology to wash CO2 directly from the air.
Through the following means there is a hope to clean up ecosystems and capture as much CO2 as possible in the coming years.
Growing trees are the most cost-effective way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, while also bringing benefits such as increased biodiversity and improvements in recreation and health.
The spreading of basalt chips will be tried on arable land and pasture. Chemical reactions that break down the rock would trap CO2 in carbonate minerals within a few months. It is expected that up to 13 tonnes of CO2 per hectare can be collected each year.
Biochar, or bio-charcoal, is a material that is made from wood or organic waste. Approximately 10 tonnes of biochar can be added to arable land per hectare. 50 tonnes or more can be buried under grassland. Biochar increases soil’s ability to retain water and nutrients and can help prevent run-off of fertilizers and pesticides.
Willow Coppice and Miscanthus grass can provide fuel for power plants and remove CO2 from the air when the exhaust gas is collected and stored underground. The test will look for the best varieties and planting methods and will examine how much carbon is stored in the roots of the plants.
The United Kingdom will plant 20 hectares. According to current estimates, this will eliminate 11 to 18 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year.
Currently, damaged peatlands or peat bogs are the largest source of CO2 emissions in the UK. A restored peatland could absorb 10 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year and also prevent the loss of around 30 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year.