Anthropogenic Carbon Containment 

Human activities like agriculture and energy production are some of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Short-lived climate forcers like methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are especially concerning, as they are much more potent than CO2 over shorter time scales. Our Anthropogenic Program seeks to abate emissions from industrial and other man-made processes, with a focus on technologies and solutions that are ready for immediate deployment.

Focus on High GWP Emissions 

Reducing and abating emissions of these gases is one of our best chances to limit the impacts of climate change in this century. For example, according to the UN's Global Methane Assessment, curbing methane emissions by 45% would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045. Our Program is developing opportunities for methane capture and destruction across a range of sources including agriculture, coal mines, and abandoned oil and gas wells. Our team is also developing projects to reduce and destroy emissions from HFCs, with a focus on developing countries where HFC use will expand and continue into the coming decades.

Anthropogenic Goals

Where We're Going

Our Anthropogenic Program includes projects that will immediately reduce emissions.

Projects which support the energy transition and destroying HFCs will have a greater role in the coming decade. Earlier-stage, R&D development efforts focused on dispersed, low-concentration emissions will ramp up their impact into latter decades.

Our projections show two categories: risk-adjusted and total potential opportunities. Overall projections are based on our estimates of the overall containment and destruction potential of the Anthropogenic Program. 

Risk-adjusted projections are derived from those overall estimates but factor in reasonable limitations given risks on deployment and adoption of the technology, as well as challenges based upon market factors.

We are taking multiple approaches to mitigating emissions

Managing Refrigerants

As climate change intensifies, the world will increasingly lean on air conditioning to cope with extreme heat. Today, over two billion air conditioners supply global cooling needs and it is expected this number will triple by 2030.

Every air conditioner in operation uses synthetic refrigerant gases, mostly using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). While more ozone-friendly than previous gases, they are thousands of times more potent than CO2. HFC emissions are increasing faster than any other greenhouse gas in the world. We are supporting efforts to contain and destroy HFC emissions with a particular focus in developing countries.

Methane from Coal, Oil, and Gas Infrastructure

Coal mines and abandoned oil and gas wells are all contributors to methane emissions in the US. Through relationships with industry experts and analysis of mine sites in the US, we have developed several potential project sites for flaring mine methane, immediately destroying potent greenhouse gas emissions. Our team is also supporting research efforts to better quantify and measure methane emissions from the millions of abandoned oil and gas wells across the US and to better target plugging efforts for high-emitting wells. 

Reclaimed mineland in Appalachia. CC Lab, 2021.
Reclaimed mineland in Appalachia. CC Lab, 2021.

Agriculture & Manure Management

Installation of flares at manure lagoons as part of a farm’s manure management system may offer both opportunities for methane destruction and additional revenue for farmers. 

Our research has focused on opportunities for these systems at dairy and swine operations. Economically feasible projects require sites where solid waste is removed and the climate prevents spreading manure year-round. One initial challenge we have identified is that old or defunct sites that re-install or fix old equipment cannot qualify for carbon credits, removing a key revenue source.