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Source: US Department of Energy

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy, in collaboration with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Science, announced a request for information (RFI) about “enhanced weathering” research opportunities that could lead to advances in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Weathering is a natural process in which rocks are broken down and dissolved over time. This process releases calcium, which can bind to CO2 and remove it from the atmosphere. Enhanced weathering uses technology or modified land-use approaches to accelerate the decomposition of calcium- and magnesium-rich silicate rocks and increase the rate of CO2 removal from the atmosphere. It is, in effect, a technology with negative CO2 emissions. In addition to its CO2 removal benefits, enhanced weathering can improve soil quality and fertility.

In this RFI, DOE seeks input from stakeholders on what research is needed to support enhanced weathering as a viable negative emissions technology for CO2 removal from the atmosphere.

Approaches of interest are those involving land materials that, when weathered, react with and bind atmospheric carbon, leading to carbon storage. The materials of most interest are calcium- and magnesium-rich rocks and minerals. Rock materials may be either extrusive or intrusive and may include refuse, but they must be reasonably accessible and available in large quantities.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted no later than 8 p.m. (ET) on November 6, 2020.