Slag-based carbon removal on BBC TV news

Image from BBC News

Dr Phil Renforth’s GGR research project, on carbon removal in the iron and steel industry, featured prominently on BBC1 TV news on 29 November 2018, with an associated BBC Science and Environment online article.  Filmed on the Blaenarvon slag heap in South Wales, Phil and his colleague Sarah Gore demonstrated to David Shukman how silicate minerals in the waste react with carbon dioxide, forming carbonates.  This reaction occurs naturally, as a weathering process; the GGR research is investigating how it can be speeded up, and used routinely to remove large amounts of carbon from the air.  Globally around half a billion tonnes of slag are produced each year, with a total CO2 capture potential estimated at 250 million tonnes.  That alone won’t solve the climate problem – but it could be one of several techniques used to achieve net zero after most greenhouse gas emissions have been ended.  Further science background is given in a blog by Phil Renforth and Huw Pullin.  The BBC news coverage also featured another form of ‘enhanced weathering’, based on adding ground-up basalt to soil.  Professor David Beerling at Sheffield is investigating that option, with funding from the Leverhulme Trust and linkage to the GGR programme.

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