Advances in Earth Science ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (12): 1297-1310. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2023.084

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Ocean Negative Carbon Technology and the Concept of “Artificial Dust”

Chen PAN 1 , 2( ), Zhe ZHOU 3 , 4( ), Libin YANG 1 , 2, Huaqiang CHU 1 , 2, Xuefei ZHOU 1 , 2, Shouye YANG 3 , 4, Yalei ZHANG 1 , 2   

  1. 1.Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
    2.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
    3.State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
    4.School of Ocean and Earth Science, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
  • Received:2023-09-01 Revised:2023-11-07 Online:2023-12-10 Published:2023-12-26
  • Contact: Zhe ZHOU;
  • About author:PAN Chen, Master student, research area includes marine carbon negative technology research.
  • Supported by:
    the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2022YFF0800504);The Interdisciplinary Project of Tongji University(2023-1-YB-04);Special Funds for Basic Scientific Research Business Expenses of Central Universities

Chen PAN, Zhe ZHOU, Libin YANG, Huaqiang CHU, Xuefei ZHOU, Shouye YANG, Yalei ZHANG. Ocean Negative Carbon Technology and the Concept of “Artificial Dust”[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2023, 38(12): 1297-1310.

The intensification of the global climate crisis has heightened the urgency of achieving carbon neutrality. The Chinese government aims to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2060. To achieve this goal, in addition to accelerating energy transformation and reducing fossil fuel consumption, we also need to develop “negative carbon technologies” to offset the unavoidable carbon emissions in social production and life. The ocean has immense potential for carbon storage, as it is the largest active carbon sink on Earth. The research and development of “negative carbon technology” in the ocean is on the rise. Its primary technical paths include blue carbon management, geological storage, artificial upwelling, enhanced weathering, and iron fertilization. Theoretically, the coupling of multiple technical paths can be realized through the compound optimization of the components and methods of addition, as enhanced weathering and fertilization of iron involve the artificial addition of exogenous substances to the ocean; thus, the efficiency of ocean carbon sequestration and carbon storage can be further improved. In this paper, we refer to this potentially composite technique as “artificial dust”. The ultimate purpose of “artificial dust” is to increase the production of recalcitrant organic carbon (rather than primary productivity), accelerate the deposition and burial of organic carbon, and increase seawater alkalinity. It is intended to adjust the algal population structure and promote the growth of algae that are more difficult to degrade by improving iron fertilization materials and dosing methods. Further, in the peak season of algae death and degradation, the second-level “artificial dust” primarily composed of silicate rock/mineral powder is added. This promotes the aggregation and deposition of organic carbon, accelerates the fixation of inorganic dust produced by algal mineralization based on enhanced weathering theory, and reduces the re-release of CO2 from seawater. The technical concept of “artificial dust” provides a broader insight for future theoretical research on marine “negative carbon technology.”

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