On life-cycle sustainability optimization of enhanced weathering systems

Enhanced weathering is a simple and scalable negative emissions technology with an estimated carbon dioxide removal potential of multiple gigatons per year. To date, the only life-cycle assessment of enhanced weathering was published by Lefebvre et al. (2019) in this journal. They estimated the carbon dioxide removal potential in Sao Paolo State in Brazil to be 1.3e2.4 Mt/y, examined the penalty from transportation greenhouse gas emissions, and pointed out that using life-cycle assessment can give more reliable estimates of climate change mitigation potential of enhanced weathering systems. In this letter, we discuss the limitations of life-cycle assessment of enhanced weathering, and then propose a more comprehensive life-cycle optimization approach, where the system configuration can be automatically synthesized to maximize environmental performance. This concept can be extended further to life-cycle sustainability optimization by including economic and social dimensions.

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