Preprint Article Version 3 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Sequestering Biomass for Natural, Efficient, and Low-Cost Direct Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide

Version 1 : Received: 3 June 2021 / Approved: 8 June 2021 / Online: 8 June 2021 (11:07:17 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 14 June 2021 / Approved: 15 June 2021 / Online: 15 June 2021 (11:08:17 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 22 July 2021 / Approved: 23 July 2021 / Online: 23 July 2021 (09:24:28 CEST)
Version 4 : Received: 28 October 2021 / Approved: 2 November 2021 / Online: 2 November 2021 (10:53:39 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Amelse JA, Behrens PK (2022) Sequestering Biomass for Natural, Carbon Efficient, and Low-Cost Direct Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide. Int J Earth Environ Sci 7: 194 doi: Amelse JA, Behrens PK (2022) Sequestering Biomass for Natural, Carbon Efficient, and Low-Cost Direct Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide. Int J Earth Environ Sci 7: 194 doi:


Many corporations and governments aspire to become Net Zero Carbon Dioxide by 2030-2050. Achieving this goal requires understanding where energy is produced and consumed, the magnitude of CO2 generation, and the Carbon Cycle. Many prior proposed solutions focus on reducing future CO2 emissions from continued use of fossil fuels. Examination of these technologies exposes their limitations and shows that none offer a complete solution. Direct Capture technologies are needed to reduce CO2 already in the air. The best way to permanently remove CO2 already in the atmosphere is to break the Carbon Cycle by growing biomass from atmospheric CO2 and permanently sequestering that biomass carbon in landfills modified to discourage decomposition to CO2 and methane. Tree leaves and switchgrass are proposed as good biomass sources for this purpose. Left unsequestered, leaves decompose with a short Carbon Cycle time constant releasing CO2 back to the atmosphere. Leaves can represent a substantial fraction of the total biomass generated by a tree when integrated over a tree’s lifetime. The cost for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for growing and sequestering high yield switchgrass is estimated to be lower than CCS for steam reforming of methane hydrogen plants (SRM) and supercritical or combined cycle coal power plants. Thus, sequestration of biomass is a natural, carbon efficient, and low-cost method of Direct Capture. Biomass sequestration can provide CO2 removal on giga tonnes per year scale and can be implemented in the needed timeframe (2030-2050).


Carbon Dioxide; Net Zero; Sequestration; Biomass; Direct Capture; Global Warming; Landfills; Forestry


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 23 July 2021
Commenter: Jeffrey Amelse
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Version 3 includes a correction to the calculatoin of the biomass that decomposes at the asymptote and updated cost estimates for CCS for biomass sequestraiton and for an SRM hydrogen plant.  Calculaton of CCS for a supercritical coal and natural gas combined cycle power plants are added.
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