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CO2 Sequestration using Soils

 

Terrestrial soils constitute the principal pool of terrestrial carbon with 2300 Peta (1015) g OC in the top 3 m. Our Ist strategy is both a preventive and curative one and involves ensuring that this organic carbon is not oxidized and released as CO2 thus causing a further increase in the concentration of accumulated atmospheric CO2. The depletion of SOC pool has already contributed 78±12 Pg C of the total 406 Pg increase in the atmospheric pool thus making it a strong potential source for global C emissions if not properly managed.

On the other hand, SOC sequestration in soils can potentially offset one fourth to one third of the annual increase in global C emissions! This however, necessitates that we understand the form in which this organic carbon is present. Molecular scale speciation using advanced spectroscopic tools such as synchrotron x-ray absorption spectropscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy have very recently shown that  50-75% of organic carbon exists as <2 µm sized Organo-mineral complexes .

We are researching mechanisms of organic carbon sequestration as they are present in soils using synchrotron spectroscopy and computational modeling in order to develop technologies to enhance soil organic carbon sequestration.