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Sustainable Urban Carbon Capture: Engineering Soil for Climate Change

08.06.2017, 11:00
MARUM Seminar
Seminarraum 2060


Dr. Ehsan Jorat

(Abertay University, Dundee, UK)

2016 was the hottest year on record, during which the world exceeded 400 PPM atmospheric carbon dioxide. These trends highlight the urgent need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Following the COP21 Paris Agreement and the 4 per mil initiative, the importance of soil for carbon sequestration has been highlighted. Research carried out at Newcastle University has shown that urban and artificial soils can remove substantial amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the formation of soil carbonates [1]. Most recently, we have measured an increase in soil calcium carbonate content that corresponds to the removal of 85T carbon dioxide/ha/yr at Science Central in Newcastle city centre [2]. Scaling this up, appropriate management of 12,000 ha of urban land has the potential to remove 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
The interdisciplinary SUCCESS project combines soil science, geotechnical engineering, ecology and sustainability science to explore the major implications of enhancing soil carbonate formation for land management in urban infrastructure projects [3]. Carbon capture is one of a number of ecosystem services required for multifunctional urban design and we are exploring the synergies and trade-offs between carbon capture and other benefits including biodiversity conservation, flood regulation and recreation. We are also assessing the feasibility of designing a carbon capture process into urban soils given the availability of materials and the overall carbon costs associated with their sourcing, transport and use in construction.


[1] Renforth, P. et al. (2011). Designing a carbon capture function into urban soils. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning 164:121-128. http://tinyurl.com/j9wkxcr
[2] Washbourne, C.-L. et al. (2015). Rapid Removal of Atmospheric CO2 by Urban Soils. Environmental Science & Technology 49:5434-5440. http://tinyurl.com/z9w26so
[3] Jorat, M.E. et al. (2015). Sustainable Urban Carbon Capture: Engineering Soils for Climate Change (SUCCESS). Proceedings of XVI ECSMGE 2015, Edinburgh, 2559 – 2564. https://tinyurl.com/jt9z98r


Hosted by:

Prof. Dr. Tobias Mörz


+49 421 218-65840


+49 421 218-9865840



MARUM I, 2210