Exploring cutting-edge carbon dioxide removal technologies in the NEGEM project

The energy transition journey focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate climate change. The second pathway simultaneously focuses on Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). However, it is important to assess the potential of such technologies realistically. For this reason, St1 has been part a of NEGEM, a comprehensive research project dedicated to assessing their real-world potential.

The NEGEM project is a 4-year multinational research project led by the research institute VTT. “St1 is one of the industrial partners in the consortium, which investigates various CDR practices for different European countries to utilise in the future,” says Kirsi Tiusanen, Carbon Sequestration Expert at St1.

These methods remove CO2 from the atmosphere and permanently store it on land, underground, or in the ocean. The project began in June 2020 and is coming to an end in May 2024, with results and publications already available.

Kirsi Tiusanen, Carbon Sequestration Expert


“The project assessed the potential of several Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) practices – or in other words Negative Emission Technologies and Practices (NETPs) – based on their technological readiness level, global scalability, and cost,” Kirsi explains. 

These practices include the following (read more about each practice here): 

•    Afforestation/reforestation
•    Enhanced weathering
•    Bioenergy with carbon dioxide capture and storage (BECCS)
•    Biochar
•    Direct air carbon dioxide capture and storage (DACCS)
•    Soil carbon sequestration
•    Ocean alkalinisation and ocean fertilisation

“One of the project’s strengths is its multi-disciplinary approach, which takes into consideration technological, commercial, environmental, regulatory and social aspects,” Kirsi adds.

The NEGEM project highlights the limited role of CDRs in climate change mitigation currently, but by initiating industrial-level deployment in the 2030's, a larger-scale impact could be reached by 2050. The results showed the realistic and cost-efficient potential for these practices, especially when implemented through a portfolio of various CDR methods.

In the end, it is important to keep in mind that CDR is to be used as a supplementary strategy in mitigating emissions, not the only solution. “As an industrial partner, St1 gained valuable insights and project ideas from the top researchers in this field, which will guide our work in carbon sequestration,” Kirsi concludes.

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