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The Potential of Photoelectrochemical Carbon Sinks

preprint
revised on 30.05.2018 and posted on 30.05.2018 by 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.

Funding

DFG grant RE3994-1/1, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina grant LPDS 2015-09

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

matthias.may@physik.hu-berlin.de

Institution

University of Cambridge

Country

United Kingdom

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-1252-806X

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest.

Version Notes

Corrected x-axis label in figure.

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