Carbon sequestration, inc.
“Your suggestion for sequestering carbon is a good one…The big question is how much would it really cost”
– Freeman Dyson, Inst. Advanced Studies, Princeton
“The idea of burying carbon in biomass makes sense”
– R. Lovett, New Scientist
“Now, we put out a lot of carbon dioxide every year, over 26 billion tons. For each American, it’s about 20 tons. For people in poor countries, it’s less than one ton. It’s an average of about five tons for everyone on the planet. And, somehow, we have to make changes that will bring that down to zero.”
– Bill Gates
A Different Approach to Climate Change
The shale revolution has proven Americans are effective at taking carbon out of the ground. Can we as a country use our technological prowess and ingenuity to do the opposite: put carbon back in the ground? If there was a market to direct our activities, using our nation’s greatest resource, our land, how much CO2 could we sequester, and could we slow down the saturation of CO2 into our atmosphere?
At Carbon Sequestration Inc., we have engineered the technology to sequester carbon from both existing dead wood and other biomass, providing the opportunity to sequester nearly seven years of global CO2 emissions. In addition to this and other potential markets, the machine planting and harvesting of various species of trees provide the opportunity to sequester between 3 and 101 tons of CO2 per acre.
What is different about the sequestration market from the other existing markets? The European Electronic Trading System for Carbon Credits and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as well as the failed Chicago Carbon Exchange, run on a “cap and trade” model, which incentivizes a reduction in existing emissions. The cap and trade model uses taxes and regulations to discourage and tax less efficient emissions. The sequestration model uses an entirely new approach: carbon is sequestered everywhere it can be sequestered, and first at the lowest price.
Cap and trade systems and markets will never get us to zero emissions, even with improved technologies that reduce emissions by 99%. Only an effective sequestration market can make an acre of land carbon negative, reward the farmer, improve their methods and technology, and then scale up his operation so that not only is one- acre carbon negative, but then the county, the state, and finally the country are as well. In the USA, we have nearly 900 million acres of land used for farming. If we can attain uptake and sequestration rates per acre similar to the emission rates by each American, we could become carbon negative simply by dedicating one third of our farmland to this cause.
It is not enough to grow forests. Forests are in terms of carbon “standing stock” only; their capacity to take carbon from the atmosphere is limited by their ability to grow upward. In some cases, with pine trees and many species of deciduous trees, standing stock can become impressive in a short period of time. Uptake rates of carbon, however, are almost always greater when the forest is younger. A mature forest, by definition, does not sequester more carbon than it emits; once biomass reaches its “standing stock” capacity, the carbon pump of the forest becomes clogged and no longer has room to sequester carbon.
How do we unclog that pump?
We believe that a combination of shade, sunlight, and canopy management, as well as selective trimmings, cuttings, and plantings based on location, as well as biosequestration through wood and biomass burial, will offer solutions as our world begins its journey to maximize the productivity of our land to reduce carbon levels globally.