Microbiological Carbon Sequestration: A Novel Solution for Atmospheric Carbon – Carbon Sequestration through Biological Approach

Microbiological Carbon Sequestration: A Novel Solution for Atmospheric Carbon – Carbon Sequestration through Biological Approach

Mohammad Oves (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia), Fohad M. Hussain (King Saud University, Saudi Arabia), I.M.I. Ismail (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia), Nadeen M. Felemban (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia) and Huda A. Qari (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2325-3.ch005
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Global modernization demands a huge energy for developing new technologies to meet the increasing human needs. The initial source of energy was fossil fuels that might release some harmful gases. Burning of fossil fuels was practiced since the 18th century, which consequently resulted in 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 according researcher. Presently, the atmospheric level of C is increasing day by day. However, this level would reach ~1000 ppm at the end of this century. The consistent discharge of CO2 into the atmosphere is a major threat to global warming; hence, it is important to minimize the atmospheric CO2 by using innovative carbon sequestration technologies. Therefore, soil and water can act as a sink for C storage with the assistance of microorganisms. Here, an attempt is made to discuss these processes in details, interactions between plant and microbes, and the requirement of C sources for C sequestration in the context of climate change. We also conferred about the development of microbial inoculants for C sequestrations and their application for sustainability of agro-ecosystems.
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Carbon sequestration is a process of capturing and assimilation of C from CO2 or other C associated gases as well as their transformation into organic and inorganic materials. In another word, C sequestration can be defined as;

  • 1.

    “The process of removing C from the atmosphere to be deposited in a reservoir;”

  • 2.

    “Capturing and storage of C where CO2 is removed from fuel gases (such as on power stations) before it is stored in underground reservoirs” (UNFCCC, 2007), or

  • 3.

    Long-term storage of CO2 or other forms of C in reservoirs to either mitigate or diminish the global warming and avoid the risk of climate change.

Furthermore, C sequestration has been proposed as a strategy to enhance terrestrial status (soil, sediments, and vegetation), geological, and marine accumulation of the atmospheric greenhouse gases. These gases are mostly generated by anthropogenic activities particularly by burning fossil fuels either in natural or deliberate processes. Various biological, chemical or physical processes contribute to building up the global ‘C-cycle’, in which CO2 is naturally captured and secured and its equilibrium is maintained in the atmosphere to sustain life. Similarly, some anthropogenic sequestration techniques (intentional geological or ocean storage) exploit these natural processes to capture CO2 from its source of emission, and then stored in the ocean or underground channels such as old oil reservoirs, aquifers, and coal seams (Akinola, 2014).

Global industrial revolution is responsible for generating a huge amount of C emitted into the atmosphere. Also, rapid growth of anthropogenic activities is increasing the atmospheric level of CO2 rapidly. Moreover, studies have shown that C emission is strongly combined with world economy and country development (Canadell et al., 2007). When comparing the growth rate of CO2 emission from fossil fuel consumption during the period 1990 to 2006 it was found thatthe rate was increased from 1.3 to 3.3% y-1, (Canadell et al., 2007). In another study, there was a significant increase of C emission (about 29%) between 2000 and 2008 from fossil fuel consumption by emerging economies while C emission from land-use changes remained constant without any change (Canadell et al., 2007; Le Quéré et al., 2009). According to Mona Loa Observatory (USA), the average of CO2 emission rate was observed from 2005 to 2014 and it was about 2.1 ppm y-1. While the emission rate was almost two times the observed rate in1960, the overall average of annual increasing of concentration in 2014 was 3.98.55 ppm (http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/news, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Global Warming: A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, cfcs, and other pollutants.

C-Sequestration: Carbon sequestration describes long-term storage of carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon to either mitigate or defer global warming and avoid dangerous climate change.

Climate: The metrological condition, including temperature, precipitation, and wind that characteristically significantly prevail in a particular region.

Soil: The portion of earth's surface consisting of disintegrated rock and humus.

Microbial Inoculants: Initially, it is commonly known as soil inoculants to promote plant health but now days many beneficial microbes known for industrial and natural process.

C-Emission: Coversion of carbon to carbon dioxide is known as carbon emission. For example 91% of total CO 2 emission cused by burning of fossil fuel in 2014.

Ecological Risk Assessment: An ecological risk assessment is the process for evaluating how likely it is that the environment may be impacted as a result of exposure to one or more environmental stressors such as chemicals, land change, disease, invasive species and climate change.

Energy Generation: Dedicated to various fuel sources to meet our new generation' energy demands.

CO2: A heavy odorless colorless gas formed during the respiration and decomposition of organic materials, and absorbed from the air by the plants in photosynthesis reaction.

Carbon Sink: It is natural and artificial system and material that suck and adsorbe/absorbe carbon dioxide from the medium or atmosphere.

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