Cleaning up our carbon dioxide waste: Technologies to achieve global climate targets

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You can also listen to Prof Lackner via this Wholesome Show podcast

The world’s energy infrastructure relies heavily on the combustion of fossil fuels, leaving behind a carbon dioxide (CO2) waste product which has become the dominant driver of climate change.

Recognising this problem, the world has begun to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and made attempts to raise energy efficiency. In order to stop climate change, the dumping of CO2 to the atmosphere will have to stop completely and soon.

In a perfect world, carbon would also be reused and recycled, but if opportunities are not available or prove to be too small in scope, the remaining carbon needs to be captured and safely and permanently disposed of.

At this public lecture, Professor Klaus Lackner (Arizona State University), will present the opportunities – and complications – for redressing the global carbon balance via negative emissions technologies that remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them for the long-term.

Research suggests that such long-term storage capacity for carbon exists. Direct air capture is a scalable technology that can compensate for the remaining emissions, for example from airplanes, and even reverse past emissions. Air capture linked to carbon disposal makes it possible to rethink carbon management as waste management rather than pollution mitigation. It will likely play an important role in climate stabilization.

Dr Roslyn Prinsley, Head of Strategic Research Initiatives at ANU, will give a short introductory presentation.   Klaus's lecture will be followed by audience Q&A, MCed by Assoc Prof Penny King of Research School of Earth Sciences.  The event will be followed by hot drinks and light refreshments.

About the speaker

Professor Klaus Lackner, Director of the Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, is a pioneer and global leader in atmospheric carbon capture research and implementation.

He was the first person to suggest capture of carbon dioxide from air in the context of addressing climate change in 1999. In 2007, he was recognised for his contribution to that year’s Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. He was elected, in 2013, as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has participated as a lead author on the IPCC report on Carbon Capture and Storage and is head of Working Group II, (Technology Options) for the Global Roundtable on Climate Change.

Before his current professorship at Arizona State University, he made major contributions to carbon capture science in his roles at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Columbia University in New York.

This event is presented by the Elizabeth and Frederick White Conference 2018, Frontiers in Gas-Solid Processes from the Atomic Scale to the Parsec, and the ANU Climate Change Institute (CCI)