Interdisciplinary research team receives Atkinson Academic Venture Fund

Colorful agricultural fields at spring, aerial drone view

"Accelerating Carbon Removal Through Enhanced Weathering by Capturing Heavy Metals From Alkaline Sources" is the title of this recently awarded Atkinson Center Academic Venture Fund research project, which is being led by faculty members from CEE and CALS. The PI of the project, Greeshma Gadikota said, “this proposal is exciting because it brings together engineers and scientists from COE and CALS to leverage our understanding of how engineered and natural processes work to create hybrid carbon removal solutions. To have a truly positive impact on responsible resource utilization and on the key stakeholders involved, we need to advance a new class of hybrid solutions to nurture nature.” 

Graphic designed figure: Figure 2. Schematic representation of the coupled interactions of involving carbon fixation using alkaline sources (e.g., Ca2+ or Mg2+) and biochar in soils.

Quantification of carbon removal is highly dependent on the rate of weathering of these rocks in soil environments. To accelerate this approach and aid in the quantification of carbon removal, the team proposes to harness electrochemically generated reagents to dissolve rocks, separate any heavy metals that are present, and distribute the calcium or magnesium-rich fluids in soils for accelerated CO2 removal. Their ultimate goal is to develop this solution for field-scale deployment in collaboration with their community partner, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). 

graphic design figure which displays cropland, biochar and alkalinity applied, crops grown, crops harvested carbon sequestered

Researchers are Greeshma Gadikota (ENG: Civil and Environmental Engineering), E. Todd Cowen (ENG: Civil and Environmental Engineering), F. Garrett Boudinot (CALS: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Benjamin Houlton (CALS Dean: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Johannes Lehmann (CALS: SIPS Soil and Crop Sciences; Global Development) 

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