Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage

Published On: September 9, 2013

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a greenhouse […]

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a greenhouse gas mitigation technology which produces negative carbon dioxide emissions by combining biomass use with geologic carbon capture and storage. The concept of BECCS is drawn from the integration of trees and crops, which extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as they grow, the use of this biomass in processing industries or power plants, and the application of carbon capture and storage. BECCS is a form of carbon dioxide removal, along with technologies such as biochar, carbon dioxide air capture and biomass burial.

According to a recent Biorecro report, there is 550 000 tonnes CO2/year in total BECCS capacity currently operating, divided between three different facilities (as of January 2012).

Biochar / Biokohle / Pflanzenkohle

Biochar / Biokohle / Pflanzenkohle

It was pointed out in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a key technology for reaching low carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration targets. The negative emissions that can be produced by BECCS has been estimated by the Royal Society to be equivalent to a 50 to 150 ppm decrease in global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and according to the International Energy Agency, the BLUE map climate change mitigation scenario calls for more than 2 gigatonnes of negative CO2 emissions per year with BECCS in 2050. According to Stanford University, 10 gigatonnes is achievable by this date.

The Imperial College London, the UK Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the Walker Institute for Climate System Research, and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change issued a joint report on carbon dioxide removal technologies as part of the AVOID: Avoiding dangerous climate change research program, stating that “Overall, of the technologies studied in this report, BECCS has the greatest maturity and there are no major practical barriers to its introduction into today’s energy system. The presence of a primary product will support early deployment.”

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According to the OECD, “Achieving lower concentration targets (450 ppm) depends significantly on the use of BECCS“. Source

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Climate State
Climate State covers the broad spectrum of climate change, and the solutions, since 2011 with the focus on the sciences. Climate State – we endorse data, facts, empirical evidence.
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Vernon Brechin
8 years ago

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is an unrealistic pipe dream that was part of the COP21 agreement. It is a multi-faceted technology that has not been tried out and it is assumed it could be deployed on a massive scale within 35-years and sustained for many decades after that. The target date of 2050 is unrealistic since Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) effects are happening so rapidly that the collapse of industrial civilization is likely to take place long before that target date is reached. The underground storage efforts began about two decades ago and have not shown the promise that was expected. Finally, numerous studies have shown that many plants, grown under natural conditions do not fare well under conditions of increasing drought, increasing CO2 concentration above certain levels and increasing temperatures. Links to articles, on this last issue follow.

Trees don’t suck up carbon dioxide as hoped
Forests do not get a growth spurt from greenhouse gas
http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050822/full/news050822-7.html

Trees absorbing less CO2 as world warms, study finds
· Shorter winters weaken forest ‘carbon sinks’
· Data analysis reverses scientists’ expectations
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jan/03/climatechange.carbonemissions

Satellite observations show global plant growth is not keeping up with CO2 emissions
December 7, 2015
Provided by: University of Minnesota
http://phys.org/news/2015-12-satellite-global-growth-co2-emissions.html

Scientists just discovered a surprising new factor that could make global warming worse
By Chelsea Harvey
December 9, 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/09/the-surprising-factor-affecting-carbon-storage-in-the-worlds-forests/

The hidden factor that could undermine U.S. plans to cut carbon emissions
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/11/16/the-hidden-factor-that-could-complicate-u-s-plans-to-cut-carbon-emissions/

Scientists say climate change could cause a ‘massive’ tree die-off in the U.S. Southwest
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/21/scientists-say-climate-change-could-cause-a-massive-tree-die-off-in-the-southwest/

Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world’s temperate forests
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150829123817.htm

Big Trees First to Die in Severe Droughts
Large trees like sequoias and redwoods suffer most when its dry
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/big-trees-first-to-die-in-severe-droughts/

Amazon rainforest losing ability to regulate climate, scientist warns
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/31/amazon-rainforest-deforestation-weather-droughts-report

The slow collapse of the world’s forests on The Science Show
http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgQm6yo3q7?play=true

Drought Could Kill Off Many of the World’s Trees
http://news.yahoo.com/drought-could-kill-off-many-worlds-trees-144139591.html

NASA satellites reveal something startling about the future of food on Earth
http://beta.finance.yahoo.com/news/nasa-satellites-reveal-something-startling-171000679.html?ltr=1
(Above 95° F photosynthesis rate drops rapidly)

Tens of Millions of Trees in Danger from California Drought
http://carnegiescience.edu/node/1968

Trees don’t suck up carbon dioxide as hoped
Forests do not get a growth spurt from greenhouse gas
http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050822/full/news050822-7.html

Trees absorbing less CO2 as world warms, study finds
· Shorter winters weaken forest ‘carbon sinks’
· Data analysis reverses scientists’ expectations
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jan/03/climatechange.carbonemissions

Satellite observations show global plant growth is not keeping up with CO2 emissions
December 7, 2015
Provided by: University of Minnesota
http://phys.org/news/2015-12-satellite-global-growth-co2-emissions.html

Scientists just discovered a surprising new factor that could make global warming worse
By Chelsea Harvey
December 9, 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/09/the-surprising-factor-affecting-carbon-storage-in-the-worlds-forests/

The hidden factor that could undermine U.S. plans to cut carbon emissions
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/11/16/the-hidden-factor-that-could-complicate-u-s-plans-to-cut-carbon-emissions/

Scientists say climate change could cause a ‘massive’ tree die-off in the U.S. Southwest
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/21/scientists-say-climate-change-could-cause-a-massive-tree-die-off-in-the-southwest/

Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world’s temperate forests
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150829123817.htm

Big Trees First to Die in Severe Droughts
Large trees like sequoias and redwoods suffer most when its dry
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/big-trees-first-to-die-in-severe-droughts/

Amazon rainforest losing ability to regulate climate, scientist warns
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/31/amazon-rainforest-deforestation-weather-droughts-report

The slow collapse of the world’s forests on The Science Show
http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgQm6yo3q7?play=true

Drought Could Kill Off Many of the World’s Trees
http://news.yahoo.com/drought-could-kill-off-many-worlds-trees-144139591.html

NASA satellites reveal something startling about the future of food on Earth
http://beta.finance.yahoo.com/news/nasa-satellites-reveal-something-startling-171000679.html?ltr=1
(Above 95° F photosynthesis rate drops rapidly)

Tens of Millions of Trees in Danger from California Drought
http://carnegiescience.edu/node/1968

It would be wise to also consider past technologies that were once considered quite hopeful but which turned out to be great embarrassments. One example was the U.S. program called Project Plowshare that had it’s equivalent in the Soviet Russia. The program involved employing nuclear explosives for various civil engineering projects.

See also  James Lovelock talks Climate Change with Sir David
Vernon Brechin
Vernon Brechin
8 years ago
Reply to  Climate State

Machines – Thank you for your input and for your strong interest in increasing the use of biochar which I believe should increase in use. The problem, that I see, is that these solutions can’t come even close to solving the problem humans have gotten themselves into. The additional carbon, now in the atmosphere, is the product of dumping tens-of-millions of years worth of carbon into the atmosphere during the last 150-years.

In my 70-years I’ve seen many statements of what can be done but many turned out to be impractical. These are often viewed as embarrassments and don’t get taught in our history.

Those, involved in ‘engineered’ solutions, such as biochar may feel that some other issues may not be that important, such as the need to stop reproducing ourselves. Humans are a terminal pathological condition on Earth, like a highly malignant cancer is on an animal.

I hope your efforts include a broad picture of the efforts that got us to where we are today.

Vernon Brechin
Vernon Brechin
8 years ago
Reply to  Climate State

A recent study suggested that the recent rate of increase in human population growth is linked with our use of the highly concentrated energy contained in fossil fuels.

I was a member of Zero Population Growth (ZPG) in the late 1960’s and 1970s. We tried to implement policies that would eventually stop the U.S. population growth. The world population then was about half of what it is today. In response, opposition developed to our efforts. Talk of controlling overpopulation was common back then but now discussions are almost treated as taboo. Scientists started warning Congress about the threat of global warming a half-century ago. Despite all the highly intelligent people in this country our greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. These are my experiences that have left me with a sense that humans are not about to come to their senses anytime soon.

Modern global CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#/media/File:Global_Carbon_Emissions.svg

I assure you that the vast majority of the Earth’s human population is clueless regarding the implications of the following graphic.

How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map
http://www.vox.com/2016/1/30/10872878/world-population-map

Graph of human population from 10,000 BCE – 2000 CE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation#/media/File:Population_curve.svg

David Suzuki speaks about overpopulation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x98KFcMJeo

It took around 200,000 years for the Earth’s population of modern homo sapiens to reach one-billion, at around 1803 CE. During my 70 years the Earth’s human population has tripled to 7.38 billion people. Those, who don’t see anything significant in this fact, must be living in a state of denial.

Having Children Brings High Carbon Impact
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/having-children-brings-high-carbon-impact/?_r=0

Perhaps there was something here that you were not previously aware of.