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neg_emissions_pec.pdf (1.58 MB)
The Potential of Photoelectrochemical Carbon Sinks
Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
revised on 30.05.2018 and posted on 30.05.2018by Matthias May, Kira Rehfeld
Greenhouse gas emissions must be cut to limit global warming to 1.5-2C above preindustrial levels. Yet the rate of decarbonisation is currently too low to achieve this. Policy-relevant scenarios therefore rely on the permanent removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. However, none of the envisaged technologies has demonstrated scalability to the decarbonization targets for the year 2050. In this analysis, we show that artificial photosynthesis for CO2 reduction may deliver an efficient large-scale carbon sink. This technology is mainly developed towards solar fuels and its potential for negative emissions has been largely overlooked. With high efficiency and low sensitivity to high temperature and illumination conditions, it could, if developed towards a mature technology, present a viable approach to fill the gap in the negative emissions budget.