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Report: Direct removal of carbon dioxide from air likely not viable
Date:5/9/2011

nt on the planet," Socolow said. Beyond using electricity more efficiently, options are to modify plants so their emissions are kept from the atmosphere or to shut them down entirely and replace them with low-carbon alternatives, he said.

"We don't have to do this job overnight. But the technologies we studied in this report, capable of removing carbon dioxide from the air, are not a substitute for addressing power plants directly," Socolow added.

The possibility of using DAC has arisen in policy discussions that contemplate a so-called "overshoot" strategy in which the target level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is exceeded and then reduced later through use of some air capture technology.

In its report, the group noted that, "No demonstration or pilot-scale DAC system has yet been deployed anywhere on earth, and it is entirely possible that no DAC concept under discussion today or yet to be invented will actually succeed in practice. Nonetheless, DAC has entered policy discussions and deserves close analysis."

Socolow noted that while the contents of the report serve as a warning against complacency, the experience of developing the report offers grounds for optimism. "The message of hope is that smart scientists and engineers are getting more and more interested in energy and climate problems," Socolow said.

"The committee that worked on this problem included both senior researchers and researchers starting their careers, and both industry experts and academics," he continued. "The review process elicited contributions from thirty to forty others. Everyone was a volunteer. Leading this project convinced me that scientists and engineers are poised to provide many creative strategies to reduce the risks of dangerous climate change."


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Contact: Steven Schultz
sschultz@princeton.edu
609-258-3617
Princeton University, Engineering School
Source:Eurekalert

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