Achieving Net Zero Carbon Dioxide by Sequestering Biomass Carbon

13 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2020

See all articles by Jeffrey Amelse

Jeffrey Amelse

Jeffrey A. Amelse Consultancy, LLC; Universidade de Aveiro, CICECO, Departamento de Química

Date Written: October 19, 2020


Many corporations aspire to become Net Zero Carbon Dioxide by 2030-2050. This paper examines what it will take to achieve those goals. It requires an understanding of where energy is produced and consumed, the magnitude of CO₂ generation, and proper understanding of the Carbon Cycle. Short reviews are provided for prior technologies for reducing CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels, such as biofuels, CO2 capture from large industrial furnaces, or substitution by renewable energy to focus on their limitations and to show that none offer a complete solution. Both biofuels and CO₂ sequestration reduce future CO₂ emissions from continued use of fossil fuels. They will not remove CO₂ already in the atmosphere. Planting trees has been proposed as one solution. Trees are a temporary solution. When they die, they decompose and release their carbon as CO₂ to the atmosphere. Thus, planting more trees is just 'kicking the can down the road'. The only way to permanently remove CO₂ already in the atmosphere is to break the Carbon Cycle by growing biomass from atmospheric CO₂ and sequestering biomass carbon. Permanent sequestration of leaves is proposed as a solution. Unlike wood, leaves have a short Carbon Cycle time constant. They renew and decompose every year. Theoretically, sequestrating only a fraction of the world’s tree leaves can get the world to Net Zero CO₂ without disturbing the underlying forests. This would be CO2 capture in its simplest and most natural form. Permanent sequestration may be as simple as redesigning landfills to discourage instead of encourage decomposition. In traditional landfills, waste undergoes several stages of decomposition, including rapid initial aerobic decomposition to CO₂, followed by slow anaerobic decomposition to methane and CO₂. The latter can take hundreds to thousands of years. Understanding landfill chemistry provides clues to disrupting decomposition at each phase.

Keywords: Carbon Dioxide, Net Zero, Sequestration, Biomass, Global Warming

Suggested Citation

Amelse, Jeffrey and Amelse, Jeffrey, Achieving Net Zero Carbon Dioxide by Sequestering Biomass Carbon (October 19, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Amelse (Contact Author)

Universidade de Aveiro, CICECO, Departamento de Química ( email )

Aveiro, Aveiro 3800-193
16307799128 (Phone)

Jeffrey A. Amelse Consultancy, LLC ( email )

1214 Challenge Rd
Batavia, IL 60510
United States
16307799128 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics