Whereas carbon capture concerns itself with the storage and use of captured carbon dioxide gases, carbon sequestration is focused on storing and securing carbon dioxide for later use or even semi-permanently through mineralization. Carbon sequestration is pivotal in sifting carbon dioxide from the planet’s atmosphere, with 45% of the stored carbon dioxide originating from human waste.
Carbon sequestration can take place naturally, such as plant photosynthesis. Foliage stores twice the amount of carbon dioxide it releases. In fact, forests, the ‘lungs’ of the Earth, are said to sequester 25% of carbon dioxide emissions around the world.
Swamps and marshes are also carbon-dioxide rich locations. Millennia is needed for carbon dioxide to be successfully gathered from these areas. In that period of time, carbon dioxide combines with other minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Oceans can also absorb a significant amount of carbon dioxide. However, this entails a risk for the aquatic ecosystem, as spikes in carbon dioxide levels in bodies of water can poison living organisms. This eventually leads to an upset balance in the oceans’ biodiversity.
Sequestration can also occur artificially. Somewhat similar to the carbon capture procedure, artificial carbon sequestration generally takes place in a geological formation. Due to how disruptive this method is to the surrounding land, artificial sequestration is limited to a small-scale procedure.
The innovation of artificial carbon sequestration gave way to the discovery of engineering carbon to a molecular level, and graphene production. Graphene is a compound used in making smartphones and computer graphic cards. These little components of our everyday devices use carbon dioxide as their raw material.
Carbon sequestration is by far the easiest and most direct method to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. While corporations have yet to earn the license for carbon capture technology, carbon sequestration can serve to offset carbon emissions, even if for only a fraction of the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by manufacturing plants. Sequestered carbon, both naturally and artificially, can fuel direct air capture technology and give factories a jumpstart in utilizing carbon dioxide as an energy source and fuel component.