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Summarizing the National Academies Federal Research Agenda for Carbon Dioxide Removal

By Erin Smith

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Carbon dioxide removal encompasses a suite of land-based and technological approaches to removing already-emitted carbon dioxide from the air. In 2018, the National Academies released a report with recommended levels of government research investment at key federal science agencies to advance six types of carbon removal and enabling technologies. The report recommends a specific sequence of research activities for direct air capture and illustrates one potential sequence for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), as seen in the figures below. For the other approaches, it is recommended that early-stage research should be completed initially and should overlap and be staggered with late-stage research as understanding of the underlying science improves. This post summarizes the total level of investment recommended for each carbon removal approach and enabling technology by research stage. Cumulative costs reflect the total research investment over the life of the research program. A more detailed breakdown of research activities is included in the subsequent chart.

Figure 1: Recommended annual U.S. federal funding for Direct Air Capture technology


Figure 2: Illustrative example of annual U.S. funding for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage technologies