The University of Michigan says removing carbon dioxide from the air must be incentivised by turning the gas into a useful commodity.
Its $4.5 million (£3.5m) ‘Global CO2 Initiative’ aims to reduce the equivalent of 10% of current atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2030 – that’s roughly four billion tons that could potentially be converted into materials such as concrete, fuels and carbon fibre.
Researchers will work to find uses for greenhouse gas extracted from the environment. They say the mass adoption of carbon utilisation and removal technologies across multiple sectors is critical to reducing the effects of climate change.
The university is creating infrastructure to support the development and commercialisation of carbon dioxide-based products and drive the development of technologies able to capture and convert the gas into useful products.
Volker Sick, Associate Vice President for Research of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan, said: “Our vision is to transform the liability of carbon dioxide emissions into an economic opportunity.
“We believe innovations in carbon dioxide removal and utilisation technologies can generate a carbon-negative, dollar-positive effect that will reduce emission footprints while generating billions of dollars of economic activity in the decades ahead.”