Development and Social Implications of CO2-Negative Bioproducts Derived from Crop Residues for On-Site Energy and Decarbonized Cement Production

This project aims to turn farm waste into a CO2-absorbing material for cement production, helping farmers while addressing climate change. 

This project tackles the challenge of rapid urbanization and its increased resource demand by placing rural communities at the forefront of climate change mitigation. It aims to integrate rural energy systems, agriculture, and cement production into sustainable regional systems, focusing on enhancing CO2 sequestration in agriculture, a key factor identified by the IPCC in mitigating global climate change. With the U.S. producing 279 million tons of agricultural crop residues annually, this project explores using these residues as a valuable feedstock for CO2 sequestration. It proposes a novel approach to pre-treat crop residues with CO2 gas in attritors, potentially transforming alkali metals into carbonates and sequestering approximately 6-14 million tons of CO2 annually, while also producing high-quality ash for cement manufacturing. 

This method not only aims to reduce CO2 emissions in cement production but also involves close collaboration with farmers to ensure an equitable bioeconomy and sustainable agricultural practices. The interdisciplinary research plan includes understanding barriers to crop residue harvesting, investigating slag formation in biomass energy systems, and characterizing the performance of combustion ash in cement. The deliverable of the project is a grower-informed and CO2-sequestering pre-treatment technology for crop residues, with the potential to transform the production of cement constituents and biomass energy, contributing to global CO2 emissions reduction and supporting sustainable agriculture and rural communities. 


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