Recycling Carbon: An Outreach Activity Designed to Introduce the General Public to Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage

Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are causing unmeasurable damage to our planet. As well as rapidly decreasing annual carbon emissions we need to remove already-emitted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so-called negative emissions. However, public opinion is important when deploying new carbon capture technology and prior research has shown that it is more likely to be accepted when local residents have been introduced prior. In this paper we describe a new outreach activity, Recycling Carbon, to introduce the general public to negative emissions technologies. Recycling Carbon was designed by researchers active in the development of carbon capture and utilisation and has proven very versatile, appealing to audiences of 5-75 year olds in a number of settings including classrooms, science fairs and as a public science lecture. Preliminary feedback, in the form of a before-activity and post-activity questionnaire, indicates that engagement with Recycling Carbon improves people’s understanding of negative emissions technology. Finally the paper discusses how engagement with Recycling Carbon is also an opportunity to discuss an individual’s carbon footprint.