ENV 636a (Tentative) () (Tentative) / 2024-2025

Carbon Dioxide Removal

Note: this course information is for the 2024-2025 academic year, not the current academic year (2023-2024).
Credits: 3
Fall 2024: Time and location TBA

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies are expected to play a significant role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, which require net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. A wide range of CDR technologies are currently in development, yet this nascent field must overcome many technical,
logistical, ethical, and financial challenges before contributing to the stabilization of the climate at scale. In the first half of this course, we will examine the need, scale, and timelines for CDR, study the landscape of strategies in development, and workshop a framework for evaluating carbon removal approaches. In the latter half of the course, we will discuss specific pathways in detail, including (but not limited to): Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC), Enhanced Mineral Weathering, Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement, and Biomass Carbon Removal and Storage (BiCRS). Course instructors and invited entrepreneurs will lecture on the mechanics, risks, and potentials of each pathway and engage student questions and discussion. Active participation in discussion is a requirement. Students will gain a deeper understanding of CDR drivers, approaches, co-benefits, and challenges. After examining the key challenges, trade-offs, and opportunities, students should be better able to make informed decisions about how CDR can best complement other decarbonization strategies and environmental justice priorities. We look forward to engaging in spirited discussion with you on this topic! Limited to Twenty students.