Cameron Hepburn

The technological and economic prospects for CO2 utilization and removal

Hepburn, C., Adlen, E., Beddington, J. et al. “The technological and economic prospects for CO2 utilization and removal”. Nature, 575, 87–97, 2019.

The capture and use of carbon dioxide to create valuable products might lower the net costs of reducing emissions or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Here we review ten pathways for the utilization of carbon dioxide. Pathways that involve chemicals, fuels and microalgae might reduce emissions of carbon dioxide but have limited potential for its removal, whereas pathways that involve construction materials can both utilize and remove carbon dioxide. Land-based pathways can increase agricultural output and remove carbon dioxide. Our assessment suggests that each pathway could scale to over 0.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide utilization annually. However, barriers to implementation remain substantial and resource constraints prevent the simultaneous deployment of all pathways.