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Atmospheric CO2 sequestration in soil via increased corn, soybean, wheat root ball mass with natural, renewable, petroleum free, abiotic EPS


Description

Summary

Terrestrial and marine environments presently absorb about half the atmospheric CO2 (Schimel et al 2001), and soil contains at least twice the amount of carbon than is in the atmosphere (Batjes, 1996).  Researchers have identified soil carbon sequestration as a potential tool for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide for many years.  Recent agricultural discoveries by Larson Growth Industries, US Army Corps and other companies have identified a means of greatly enhancing soil carbon sequestration in a low cost, cost neutral or possibly cost-negative manner with a minor change to current agricultural processes. 

A patented industrial process for the production of rhyzobially based extracellular poly saccharides (EPS) has made it possible to geo-engineer agricultural systems such that atmospheric carbon dioxide is sequestered in soil.  (Patents: “Rhizobium tropici produced biopolymer salt” US 20130338003 A1 and “Soluble salt produced from a biopolymer and a process for producing the salt” US 7824569 B2”).   By combining modern bio-engineering with an understanding of the natural symbiotic relationship between plants and soil microbial communities in the rhizosphere, soils can be rapidly improved with regards to root structure, soil microbial activity and root carbon exudation all leading to increased soil carbon storage.  Amending agricultural soils and/or treating seeds with EPS produced in bioreactors will provide increased crop yields in addition to increased soil carbon storage.

This technology, applied globally, has the potential to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels to near the pre-industrialized state.  Costs associated with the production and use of the soil amendment/seed treatment can be offset and possible negated by increased crop yields and reduced crop loss.    Consequently, farmers will be motivated to increase profitability while simultaneously reducing atmospheric carbon without changing their favored agricultural practices.  Thus, economic, humanitarian, and environmental drivers work synergistically towards global adoption of a technology that combats global greenhouse gas effects.

 

The effect on root development obtained by amending soil with Rhysobium tropici derived EPS is illustrated in Figure 1 below.

Biopolymer

Control

 

Figure 1. Effect of soil amendment with Rhysobium Tropici EPS-biopolymer on corn root development.

 


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Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

The University of Manchester carbon sequestration calculator http://dbkgroup.org/carbonsequestration/rootsystem.html produces the following:

Amount of carbon as CO2 currently in atmosphere is approximately 750 Pg, and that in soil is approximately 1500 Pg.

If the global land area for crops is 2300 Mha and that for grassland is 2300 Mha, and an extra 1.0 m depth of roots are grown, and they take up 1.0 % (by mass at an equivalent carbon density of 1000 kg/m3 ) of the relevant soil volume, then the extra amount of carbon that could be sequestered by the above land areas is 10 kg.m-2 = 100 t.ha-1.

This equates to 230 Pg (230,000  M tons), if the C in the roots and other sequestered carbon are re-respired over a period of 2.0 years.

As 1 Pg is equivalent to 0.51 ppmv atmospheric CO2, this would decrease the CO2 in the atmosphere by 118 ppmv, the current value of 385 ppmv would decrease to 267 ppmv, a near 30% reduction in a manner where costs are offset by accompanying, increased crop yields.


What are the plan’s key benefits?


What are the plan’s costs?

Fortunately, the proposed soil amendment EPS can be applied using standard, well-established agricultural practices.  Consequently, the plan's costs are primarily limited to manufacturing and distribution of the EPS.  It is projected that significant savings to the agriculturalist from increased amounts of desired plant matter, greater drought resistance and reduced soil erosion may be used to offset their out of pocket expenses.


What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?

The key challenge to enacting this plan is mounting a global unified effort and confronting skeptics that will exist on both sides of the global challenge.  The most obvious skeptics still question whether Man can even have a global environmental challenge on our Earth's atmosphere.  Shrewder skeptics question if man can impact the earth's environment in a green manner that is financially lucrative.  But that is the beauty of our proposal as we are asking for farmers, economists and governments to conduct their agricultural business in a way they desire to do and get better production!  We just want to produce more roots by adding a soil amendment.  Unfortunately opposing, but far greener thinkers, will dislike our proposal as they will argue advances in agriculture will only produce a drop in price which will lead to greater production and ultimately more atmospheric carbon.  This risk could be controlled by agreements.


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References