In 1977, physicist Freeman Dyson proposed the burial of biomass as a scalable, economical solution to the carbon dioxide problem. Today we know that harvested vegetation should be buried in an engineered dry biolandfill. Plant biomass can be preserved for thousands of years by burial in a dry environment with sufficiently low thermodynamic “water activity,” which is the relative humidity in equilibrium with the biomass. A water activity less than 60 percent will not support life, suppressing anaerobic organisms, thus preserving the biomass for millennia. Current agriculture and biolandfill costs indicate that $60 per ton of sequestered carbon dioxide corresponds to $0.53 per gallon of gasoline. If scaled to the level of a major crop, existing carbon dioxide can be extracted from the atmosphere and sequester a significant fraction of prior years’ carbon dioxide emissions.
Speaker: Eli Yablonovitch, UC Berkeley
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Berkeley, CA 94720
Website: Click to Visit