First-Order Priorities

Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation

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High-resolution data-assimilative models that can support real-world testing of electrochemical CDR are required. These modeling tools must:

  • Account for complex interactions in the immediate vicinity of the electrochemical CDR and downstream impacts
  • Provide four-dimensional (space and time) estimates of biogeochemistry in zone of influence both in the presence and absence of OAE. The difference between these two simulations can be used to inform CDR estimates that account for background variability in the ocean. 
    • CDR estimates from electrochemical CDR must include estimates of the “opportunity cost” of electrochemical CDR - how did electrochemical CDR shift phytoplankton community composition, production, and export? 

To support the design of proof-of-concept field trials, these models should also: 

  • Provide estimates of the size and scale of biogeochemical modification to the ecosystem from electrochemical CDR, allowing for informed placement of sensors to monitor the field trials
  • Be capable of simulating passive tracers (e.g. SF6) to inform whether and how these passive tracers may be useful in field trials (e.g., estimating rates of atmospheric CO2 uptake)
  • Inform a prioritized set of predictions to be tested during field trials

High-resolution data-assimilative models that can support real-world testing of electrochemical CDR are required. These modeling tools must:

  • Account for complex interactions in the immediate vicinity of the electrochemical CDR and downstream impacts
  • Provide four-dimensional (space and time) estimates of biogeochemistry in zone of influence both in the presence and absence of OAE. The difference between these two simulations can be used to inform CDR estimates that account for background variability in the ocean. 
    • CDR estimates from electrochemical CDR must include estimates of the “opportunity cost” of electrochemical CDR - how did electrochemical CDR shift phytoplankton community composition, production, and export? 

To support the design of proof-of-concept field trials, these models should also: 

  • Provide estimates of the size and scale of biogeochemical modification to the ecosystem from electrochemical CDR, allowing for informed placement of sensors to monitor the field trials
  • Be capable of simulating passive tracers (e.g. SF6) to inform whether and how these passive tracers may be useful in field trials (e.g., estimating rates of atmospheric CO2 uptake)
  • Inform a prioritized set of predictions to be tested during field trials

Accelerate Design and Permitting of Controlled Field Trials

Version published: 

Field trials for the various electrochemical CDR technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of steps are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials.  They include:

Field trials for the various electrochemical CDR technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of steps are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials.  They include:

Field trials for the various electrochemical CDR technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of steps are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials.  They include:

Field trials for the various electrochemical CDR technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of steps are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials.  They include:

  • Conducting siting analyses to identify location(s) in the global ocean where electrochemical CDR would be most effective at lowering surface ocean CO2, and drawing down atmospheric CO2, and where it would be least expensive
    • Cost considerations should cross-reference oceanographic conditions with coastal areas that have robust infrastructure for processing large quantities of seawater (e.g., desalination plants)
    • For methods that produce carbonates or strip CO2 from seawater, siting analyses should consider options for disposal of these end products
  • Identifying candidate sites for field trials by:
  • Conducting environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential environmental co-benefits and risks of a given electrochemical CDR approach at a candidate site
  • Acquiring historical or present-day records of the pH (or pCO2 or carbonate mineral saturation state) variability at candidate sites for field trials. Set goals to keep field trial carbonate chemistry modifications within historical ranges to avoid criticisms of “geo-engineering”.
    • Considering initial field trials in sites where low pH conditions have been identified as a threat to the local marine ecosystem and industries, such that de-acidification may help abate that threat.
  • Developing a standardized list of biological indicators to measure during field trials to facilitate intercomparison between field trials.
  • Build test modules that can trial these technologies in real-world conditions by integrating with existing coastal infrastructure (e.g., desalination plants) or as stand-alone units where the efficacy and environmental impacts can be closely monitored 

Conducting siting analyses

 

Conducting siting analyses to identify location(s) in the global ocean where electrochemical CDR would be most effective at lowering surface ocean CO2, and drawing down atmospheric CO2, and where it would be least expensive

  • Cost considerations should cross-reference oceanographic conditions with coastal areas that have robust infrastructure for processing large quantities of seawater (e.g., desalination plants)
  • For methods that produce carbonates or strip CO2 from seawater, siting analyses should consider options for disposal of these end products

Identifying candidate sites for field trials

 

Identifying candidate sites for field trials by:

  • Conducting environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential environmental co-benefits and risks of a given electrochemical CDR approach at a candidate site
  • Acquiring historical or present-day records of the pH (or pCO2 or carbonate mineral saturation state) variability at candidate sites for field trials. Set goals to keep field trial carbonate chemistry modifications within historical ranges to avoid criticisms of “geo-engineering”.
    • Considering initial field trials in sites where low pH conditions have been identified as a threat to the local marine ecosystem and industries, such that de-acidification may help abate that threat.

Developing a standardized list of biological indicators

 

Developing a standardized list of biological indicators to measure during field trials to facilitate intercomparison between field trials.

Build test modules

 

Build test modules that can trial these technologies in real-world conditions by integrating with existing coastal infrastructure (e.g., desalination plants) or as stand-alone units where the efficacy and environmental impacts can be closely monitored

Develop New In-Water Tools for Autonomous CDR Operations

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support electrochemical CDR RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support electrochemical CDR RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support electrochemical CDR RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support electrochemical CDR RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

  • Creating of effective testing platforms for field trials that are:
    • Flexible
    • Modular
    • Can be easily re-located
    • Can be powered by renewable energy
  • Innovative solutions for dispersion of alkaline seawater resulting from electrochemical CDR:
    • Apply existing analytical (e.g. IMCO{{1}}) and numerical models (e.g. MAMPEC{{2}}) to design dispersion protocols. For more complex cases, develop new modeling tools.
    • Investigate whether and how large ships that slowly disperse alkaline seawater into a large volume of water may provide a solution for safe dispersion of alkaline materials{{3}}
  • Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles (e.g. gliders, drones, etc.) to monitor carbon sequestration and downstream environmental impacts.
  • Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors to make widespread measurements of changes to marine chemistry faster, less expensive, and more reliable.
    • In the near term (~ 1 year): Develop specification sheets for sensor criteria needs to support ocean-based CDR. These specification sheets should explicitly define acceptable instrumental precision, accuracy, and cost requirements.
    • Medium term (1+ years): Launch request for proposals to develop low-cost, abundant oceanographic sensors to support CDR research, development, and demonstration
  • Realistic, detailed techno-economic models for electrochemical CDR to identify critical bottlenecks when scaling from bench top to field trials to commercial deployments.
    • Work with engineering fabrication companies to incorporate real-world state of readiness for key machinery and equipment into models. 
    • Develop detailed models for electrochemical module (electrolysis or electrodialysis) integrations into desalination plants where seawater pre-treatment already necessary for desalination could offer cost savings for electrochemical CDR. 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support electrochemical CDR RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

  • Creating of effective testing platforms for field trials that are:
    • Flexible
    • Modular
    • Can be easily re-located
    • Can be powered by renewable energy
  • Innovative solutions for dispersion of alkaline seawater resulting from electrochemical CDR:
    • Apply existing analytical (e.g. IMCO) and numerical models (e.g. MAMPEC) to design dispersion protocols. For more complex cases, develop new modeling tools.
    • Investigate whether and how large ships that slowly disperse alkaline seawater into a large volume of water may provide a solution for safe dispersion of alkaline materials
  • Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles (e.g. gliders, drones, etc.) to monitor carbon sequestration and downstream environmental impacts.
  • Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors to make widespread measurements of changes to marine chemistry faster, less expensive, and more reliable.
    • In the near term (~ 1 year): Develop specification sheets for sensor criteria needs to support ocean-based CDR. These specification sheets should explicitly define acceptable instrumental precision, accuracy, and cost requirements.
    • Medium term (1+ years): Launch request for proposals to develop low-cost, abundant oceanographic sensors to support CDR research, development, and demonstration
  • Realistic, detailed techno-economic models for electrochemical CDR to identify critical bottlenecks when scaling from bench top to field trials to commercial deployments.
    • Work with engineering fabrication companies to incorporate real-world state of readiness for key machinery and equipment into models. 
    • Develop detailed models for electrochemical module (electrolysis or electrodialysis) integrations into desalination plants where seawater pre-treatment already necessary for desalination could offer cost savings for electrochemical CDR. 

Creating of effective testing platforms

 

Creating of effective testing platforms for field trials that are:

  • Flexible
  • Modular
  • Can be easily re-located
  • Can be powered by renewable energy

Innovative solutions for dispersion of alkaline seawater resulting from electrochemical CDR

 
  • Apply existing analytical (e.g. IMCO[1]MEPC (1975) Method for calculation of dilution capacity in the ships wake. Submitted jointly by the Netherlands and Norway ) and numerical models (e.g. MAMPEC[2]“MAMPEC.” Deltares, 31 Jan. 2017, www.deltares.nl/en/software/mampec/. ) to design dispersion protocols. For more complex cases, develop new modeling tools.
  • Investigate whether and how large ships that slowly disperse alkaline seawater into a large volume of water may provide a solution for safe dispersion of alkaline materials[3]Caserini, S., Pagano, D., Campo, F., Abbà, A., De Marco, S., Righi, D., Renforth, P. and Grosso, M., 2021. Potential of Maritime Transport for Ocean Liming and Atmospheric CO2 Removal. Frontiers in Climate, 3, p.22. https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2021.575900

Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles

 

Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles (e.g. gliders, drones, etc.) to monitor carbon sequestration and downstream environmental impacts.

Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors

 

Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors to make widespread measurements of changes to marine chemistry faster, less expensive, and more reliable.

  • In the near term (~ 1 year): Develop specification sheets for sensor criteria needs to support ocean-based CDR. These specification sheets should explicitly define acceptable instrumental precision, accuracy, and cost requirements.
  • Medium term (1+ years): Launch request for proposals to develop low-cost, abundant oceanographic sensors to support CDR research, development, and demonstration

Realistic, detailed techno-economic models for electrochemical CDR

 

Realistic, detailed techno-economic models for electrochemical CDR to identify critical bottlenecks when scaling from bench top to field trials to commercial deployments.

  • Work with engineering fabrication companies to incorporate real-world state of readiness for key machinery and equipment into models.
  • Develop detailed models for electrochemical module (electrolysis or electrodialysis) integrations into desalination plants where seawater pre-treatment already necessary for desalination could offer cost savings for electrochemical CDR.

Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from electrochemical CDR will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include:

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation) and controlled field trials (Accelerate Design and Permitting of Controlled Field Trials) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of electrochemical CDR. As advances in electrochemical CDR RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing[1]Koornneed, J. and Nieuwlaar, E., 2009. Environmental life cycle assessment of CO2 sequestration through enhanced weathering of olivine. Working paper, Group Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University. [2]Hartmann, J., West, A.J., Renforth, P., Köhler, P., De La Rocha, C.L., Wolf‐Gladrow, D.A., Dürr, H.H. and Scheffran, J., 2013. Enhanced chemical weathering as a geoengineering strategy to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, supply nutrients, and mitigate ocean acidification. Reviews of Geophysics, 51(2), pp.113-149. , or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from electrochemical CDR will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include:

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation) and controlled field trials (Accelerate Design and Permitting of Controlled Field Trials) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of electrochemical CDR. As advances in electrochemical CDR RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing{{1}}{{2}}, or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from electrochemical CDR will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include:

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation) and controlled field trials (3b) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of electrochemical CDR. As advances in electrochemical CDR RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing{{1}}{{2}}, or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from electrochemical CDR will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include:

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (3a) and controlled field trials (3b) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of electrochemical CDR. As advances in electrochemical CDR RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing{{1}}{{2}}, or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from electrochemical CDR will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include:

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (3a) and controlled field trials (3b) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of electrochemical CDR. As advances in electrochemical CDR RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing,, or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Accelerate RD&D Through New Partnerships

Version published: 

Research, development, and demonstration of electrochemical CDR may be accelerated and strengthened by creating partnerships with key industries/sectors, including: 

  • Offshore renewable energy production, including wind and others, both as power sources and as integrated CDR platforms
  • Coastal industries, including desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, which already have infrastructure for pumping/processing seawater or wastewater for CO2 extraction or alkalinity addition.
  • Marine research laboratories that already pump seawater and have expertise, technical equipment and infrastructure to support research and development
  • Decommissioned or active offshore oil platforms, wells, and reservoirs as sites for CDR and CO2 sequestration. 
  • Finfish and shellfish aquaculture where the CDR-produced CO2 and/or alkalinity can be used to optimize chemical conditions, including providing relief from ocean acidification. 

Developing and strengthening relationships with partner industries may also help promote public acceptance, as well as potentially offer faster routes to obtaining the necessary permitting.

Research, development, and demonstration of electrochemical CDR may be accelerated and strengthened by creating partnerships with key industries/sectors, including: 

  • Offshore renewable energy production, including wind and others, both as power sources and as integrated CDR platforms
  • Coastal industries, including desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, which already have infrastructure for pumping/processing seawater or wastewater for CO2 extraction or alkalinity addition.
  • Marine research laboratories that already pump seawater and have expertise, technical equipment and infrastructure to support research and development
  • Decommissioned or active offshore oil platforms, wells, and reservoirs as sites for CDR and CO2 sequestration. 
  • Finfish and shellfish aquaculture where the CDR-produced CO2 and/or alkalinity can be used to optimize chemical conditions, including providing relief from ocean acidification. 

Developing and strengthening relationships with partner industries may also help promote public acceptance, as well as potentially offer faster routes to obtaining the necessary permitting.

Improve Understanding of Markets for Co-Products

Version published: 

Electrochemical CDR may generate a host of co-products. Assessing and mapping potential new markets to accommodate these co-products is an important step towards determining the feasibility of electrochemical CDR approaches at scale.

Potential co-products include: 

  • Hydrogen (H2) gas – as a fuel, energy storage medium, and as a feedstock
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) – potentially to refine waste products from silicate mining[1] House, Kurt Zenz, Christopher H. House, Daniel P. Schrag, and Michael J. Aziz. “Electrochemical Acceleration of Chemical Weathering as an Energetically Feasible Approach to Mitigating Anthropogenic Climate Change.” Environmental Science & Technology 41, no. 24 (December 2007): 8464–70. https://doi.org/10.1021/es0701816.
  • Oxygen (O2) gas
  • Chlorine (Cl2) gas – can be combusted with H2 gas to form HCl

Electrochemical CDR may generate a host of co-products. Assessing and mapping potential new markets to accommodate these co-products is an important step towards determining the feasibility of electrochemical CDR approaches at scale.

Potential co-products include: 

  • Hydrogen (H2) gas – as a fuel, energy storage medium, and as a feedstock
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) – potentially to refine waste products from silicate mining{{1}}
  • Oxygen (O2) gas
  • Chlorine (Cl2) gas – can be combusted with H2 gas to form HCl

Electrochemical CDR may generate a host of co-products. Assessing and mapping potential new markets to accommodate these co-products is an important step towards determining the feasibility of electrochemical CDR approaches at scale.

Potential co-products include: 

  • Hydrogen (H2) gas – as a fuel, energy storage medium, and as a feedstock
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) – potentially to refine waste products from silicate mining
  • Oxygen (O2) gas
  • Chlorine (Cl2) gas – can be combusted with H2 gas to form HCl
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