In their quest to find solutions to safeguard our planet against climate change, scientists have turned to carbon sequestration. But forest ecosystems are not as simple, we can’t just enact sequestration by simply planting more trees. It needs more than that. In this blog, while uncovering this practice, we’ll also learn about carbon sequestration benefits, types, and methods.

Carbon Sequestration Benefits

This process is all about storing carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from factories or taken directly from the air. The captured CO2 is then safely moved and stored underground, permanently. 

Storing CO2 becomes important because the emissions related to it are heating the Earth’s climate. This is happening in ways that have not been witnessed for millions of years such as storms, floods, and wildfires, and are even harming sea life by making oceans more acidic.

Now it is time to explore the benefits of carbon sequestration process.

1. Reducing Global Warming

Do you know: Naturally ecosystem absorbs around 55% of emitted carbon and 45% of it remains in the atmosphere.

Carbon sequestration helps reduce global warming by storing CO2 captured from the atmosphere.

2. Protecting Forest and Tree Growth

Forests act as a carbon sink and absorb nearly 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 each year. Also, nearly 25% of carbon emissions are captured thus helping to mitigate climate change. Carbon sequestration stores the extra carbon from the air to reduce the pressure on fauna and helps them thrive naturally.

3. Mitigating Ocean Acidification

Around 30% of the carbon emitted is absorbed by the upper layer of oceans. This increases the water acidity level but due to the advantages of carbon sequestration, oceans will not absorb excess carbon. It will prevent unnecessary hikes in their acidity levels and will not adversely affect marine life.

4. Decreasing Carbon Emissions

With better technological advancements, more amounts of CO2 are stored. This is helping to reduce the ever-increasing carbon in the atmosphere.

5. Protecting Resources and Preventing Desertification

Damage to many other resources is interlinked with the damage done to forests and ecosystems. Carbon sequestration is reducing the amount of CO2 absorbed by these regions, thus helping to protect resources.

Moreover, it plays a major part in preventing desertification, which is forests and grasslands turning into deserts due to dying plantations and vegetation.

Also Read: Carbon Sequestration Vs Carbon Capture: What’s the Difference?

Types of Carbon Sequestration

importance and types of carbon sequestration

Researchers are not only looking for new methods for sequestration but also for ways to discover ways to repurpose carbon in manufacturing different materials. The following are the major types of CO2 sequestration.

1. Biological – It is done through photosynthesis for naturally storing carbon dioxide in plants, trees, soil and oceans. It is stored in roots and leafy parts of plants and trees.

Currently, oceans are absorbing a quarter of 10 gigatons of industrial CO2 annually. However, this is not a permanent process as it varies with temperatures, particularly in polar regions.

2. Geological – It involves injecting CO2 into underground porous rock formations. This method is preferred by steel and metal industries but it is still in its early stages with many limitations. Yes, there are still uncertainties about long-term viability.

3. Technological – This method converts carbon into other useful products like methane that is used as a fuel to generate electricity or power vehicles. Moreover, it is also converted into graphene which has been recently termed as a better lithium substitute.

Other methods like direct air capture are still in the initial stages of development. Thus for widespread use, they are not yet economically feasible. However, you can check out the companies that offer technologies to remove CO2.

4. Industrial – As for this type of sequestration, it is all about using oxyfuel, post-combustion, or pre-combustion methods to extract carbon from power plants.

  • Pre-combustion traps carbon before fuel burns. It does so by converting coal to synthesis gas and then separating hydrogen from carbon monoxide. 
  • Post-combustion removes carbon from exhaust gases.
  • Lastly, to store emissions, oxy-fuel combustion burns fuel with oxygen.

What is Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture and Trees?

Agriculture fields can store carbon by trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. This mainly occurs in the soil. When the crops grow, they photosynthesize, where they absorb CO2 during this process and then release oxygen. Due to plowing or tilling, the stored carbon can be released back into the air. If farmers avoid tilling, they can keep carbon in the soil and help fight climate change.

During photosynthesis, sequestration in trees happens when they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They then store it as biomass.

Also See: Chinese Researchers Reveals Giant Global Soil Carbon Storage

Carbon Sequestration Methods

carbon sequestration process

These methods focus on various ways to capture as well as store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They range from turning CO2 into useful items to improving natural processes like soil care and forestry. Let’s have a detailed discussion on these methods below:

CO2 ChemicalsConversion of CO2 into methanol, urea, or polymers using catalysts
CO2 FuelsProduction of fuels like methanol and synfuels by combining CO2 with hydrogen
MicroalgaeHigh-efficiency microalgae processing CO2 into fuels and chemicals
Concrete Building MaterialsUse of CO2 in curing cement or aggregate production, replacing conventional cement
CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)Injection of CO2 into oil wells to enhance oil production
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)Integration of tree growth, bioenergy, and CO2 capture to utilize CO2
Enhanced WeatheringAccelerated carbonate formation by spreading crushed rocks like basalt on land
ForestryUtilization of timber from new and existing forests for storing CO2 in buildings
Soil Carbon SequestrationLand management techniques enhancing agricultural yields and storing CO2 in soil
BiocharApplication of pyrolyzed biomass to soils for CO2 utilization

1. CO2 Chemicals – CO2 is converted into products like methanol, urea, or polymers, using catalysts. It has a potential annual utilization of 0.3 to 0.6GtCO2 by 2050 and costs between $80 to $300 per tonne of CO2.

2. CO2 Fuels – When combined with hydrogen, it produces fuels like synfuels and methanol that are useful in the transportation industry. They cost around $670 per tonne.

3. Microalgae – It is estimated that by 2050, high-efficiency microalgae will be processing CO2 into chemicals and fuels. This will use up to 0.2 to 0.9Gt CO2 yearly for production. Their cost is estimated to be $230 to $920 per tonne of CO2.

4. Concrete Building Materials – We can store CO2 and replace conventional cement. CO2 can cure cement or be used in aggregate production. In 2050, it will have a potential utilization of 0.1 to 1.4 GtCO2. It can cost between $30 to $70 per tonne of CO2.

5. CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) – By injecting CO2 into oil wells, oil production is enhanced. By 2050, we’ll potentially be able to use around 0.1 to 1.8GtCO2 annually. It will cost between $60 and $40 per tonne of CO2.

6. Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) – In 2050, we can utilize 0.5 to 5GtCO2 per year by combining tree growth, bioenergy, and CO2 capture. Its cost can range from $60 to $160 per tonne of CO2.

7. Enhanced Weathering – By spreading crushed rocks like basalt on land, there will be accelerated carbonate formation from CO2. This will improve agricultural yields. However, its 2050 estimates are unavailable.

8. Forestry – By 2050, the timber from new as well as existing forests will be able to store up to 1.5GtCO2 in buildings. This will cost between $40 and $10 per tonne of CO2.

9. Soil Carbon Sequestration – Land management techniques are expected to enhance agricultural yields by 2050 and store around 0.9 to 1.9GtCO2 annually. Its cost would range between $20 and $90 per tonne of CO2.

10. Biochar – Pyrolysed biomass applied to soil is expected to use 0.2 to 1GtCO2 annually, by 2050. This is going to cost around $65 per tonne of CO2.

Cross-reference: Carbon Sequestration to Mitigate Climate Change

Why is Carbon Sequestration Important? 

The importance of carbon sequestration is linked to its ability to fight against climate change. It does so by lowering the level of CO2 in the air. Additionally, it provides benefits like cleaning the air and water and controlling floods. It even keeps ecosystems, especially forests, healthy. To learn more about such global issues, keep reading our blog posts.

Must Read: Top 7 Reasons Why Carbon Capture and Storage is a Bad Idea


Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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