Negative emissions through enhanced mineral weathering in the coastal zone
an FWO-SBO project
Coastal enhanced silicate weathering (ESW) as a negative emissions technology (NET) is an approach that uses the natural process of silicate weathering for the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Advantages? A principal advantage of coastal ESW over other NETs is that it also counteracts ocean acidification and that it can be directly integrated into existing coastal management programs with existing (dredging) technology.
However, there has been no rigorous assessment of its CO2 sequestration efficiency and environmental impact so far. These are two crucial bottlenecks that are being addressed with this project:
CO2 Sequestration efficiency?
Determine in situ dissolution rates for coastal environments and CO2 sequestration efficiency.
Environmental impacts of ESW?
Observe and understand positive and negative environmental impacts.
To conduct large-scale experiments investigating the rate of ESW and associated CO2 uptake under realistic natural settings (bioturbation, waves, currents) as well as potentially important influences on the biogeochemical cycling in coastal ecosystems (release of trace metals, alkalinity and dissolved silicate) using unique mesocosm facilities.
Unique mesocosm facilities enable to closely track the silicate dissolution dynamics in a natural setting, while offering the possibility to test different application scenarios.
Preventing the release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere will no be enough to meet set climate targets (The Paris Agreement, UNFCCC). Active removal of CO2 using NETs will be essential.
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