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Negative emissions technologies: A complementary solution for climate change mitigation

Pires, J.C.M.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.672 pp. 502-514
carbon, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, environmental impact, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, operating costs
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas (GHG) and its atmospheric concentration is currently 50% higher than pre-industrial levels. The continuous GHGs emissions may lead to severe and irreversible consequences in the climate system. The reduction of GHG emissions may be not enough to mitigate climate change. Consequently, besides carbon capture from large emission sources, atmospheric CO2 capture may be also required. To meet the target defined for climate change mitigation, the removal of 10 Gt·yr−1 of CO2 globally by mid-century and 20 Gt·yr−1 of CO2 globally by the end of century. The technologies applied with this aim are known as negative emission technologies (NETs), as they lead to achieve a negative balance of carbon in atmosphere. This paper aims to present the recent research works regarding NETs, focusing the research findings achieved by academic groups and projects. Besides several advantages, NETs present high operational cost and its scale-up should be tested to know the real effect on climate change mitigation. With current knowledge, no single process should be seen as a solution. Research efforts should be performed to evaluate and reduce NETs costs and environmental impact.