Advances in Earth Science ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (2): 137-150. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2022.093

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Enhanced Silicate Rock Weathering—A New Path of “Carbon Neutrality”

Weibin GAO 1( ), Yang CHEN 1 , 2( ), Haoxian WANG 1 , 2   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, and Frontier Science Center for Critical Earth Material Cycle, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2022-10-29 Revised:2022-12-12 Online:2023-02-10 Published:2023-03-02
  • Contact: Yang CHEN;
  • About author:GAO Weibin (2000-), male, Tangshan City, Hebei Province, Master student. Research area includes geochemistry. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Dynamics of continental weathering in the tectonically stable area”(41991321);Jiangsu Province Special Fund for Natural Resources Protection and Utilization (Pilot Project of Mine-Land Integration) “Pilot study on increasing production, carbon sequestration and ecological benefits of basalts in Xuyi area”(HAZC-2021110508-XY)

Weibin GAO, Yang CHEN, Haoxian WANG. Enhanced Silicate Rock Weathering—A New Path of “Carbon Neutrality”[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2023, 38(2): 137-150.

Since the industrial revolution, human activities have emitted large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, causing a rapid increase in global surface temperatures. To cope with global warming, it is necessary to apply negative-emission technologies on a large scale. Enhanced silicate Rock Weathering (ERW) is a form of negative-emission technology based on geochemical principles that accelerates the chemical weathering process of silicate rock by adding silicate rock powder to farmland or forests to stabilize atmospheric CO2 over a short time period. China has abundant and widely-distributed basalt reserves and a large amount of unused mine tailings and alkaline silicate wastes. Therefore, there is great potential for the removal of atmospheric CO2 through ERW. The calculation results show that China can remove 0.13~0.80 Gt CO2 through ERW annually, which is conducive to the realization of the “carbon neutrality” goal. However, ERW still faces many problems. Combining the progress of domestic and international research, the main application effects and influencing factors of ERW are summarized, the potential of ERW application in China is analyzed, and the main issues facing ERW application in China are discussed from five aspects: technology, economy, safety, society, and policy. In view of the focus and shortcomings of the current research, the calculation of ERW carbon sequestration, potential hazards of application, and other key concerns and challenges are presented.

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