Grantham Scholar Lucas Joel researches Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon Mineralisation which are both ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Large scale Green House Gas (GHG) removal is vital to limit global mean temperatures from rising more than 2ºC. Most climate mitigation technologies focus on decreasing the rate at which we add carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). This includes topics such as renewable electricity, carbon capture and storage from existing fossil plants and increasing efficiency in our processes.
However, to prevent catastrophic climate change, we need to actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere, i.e., we need Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs). These NETs, which are featured in almost all UK government scenarios that allow the UK to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, primarily because atmospheric carbon removal is needed to offset other difficult to decarbonise sectors.
Two promising NETs include Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon Mineralisation. Direct Air Capture involves directly extracting CO2 from the atmosphere by using chemical solutions or solid sorbent filters. Carbon mineralisation is a passive and low-cost method of capturing atmospheric CO2 as it becomes a solid mineral, like carbonate, when it is exposed to certain rocks.
This PhD project will focus on pioneering research into solvent based Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon mineralisation. It will be an experimentally based study and will also study the complete environmental impact and carbon saving of these technologies though Life Cycle Assessment.