Carbon Lockdown Potomac Biomass Burial

Biomass Burial Biomass


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Situated in southern Maryland, USA, the Potomac Project will bury and durably sequester 5,000 tonnes CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) of coarse woody biomass in a Wood Vault. The wood feedstock is sustainably sourced from wood residuals that would otherwise be destined for mulch, burnt, or left to decompose on the forest floor.
The Wood Vault (WV) is a specially engineered structure that durably stores sustainably sourced coarse woody biomass (CWB) based on the Wood Harvesting and Storage (WHS) method of carbon removal, as researched and developed by Carbon Lockdown founder Dr. Ning Zeng. The science behind WHS and WV can be summarized as a ‘reverse coal’ process in which carbon in the form of woody biomass is taken out of the “fast” photosynthesis-decomposition biotic carbon cycle and transferred to a “slow” geological carbon cycle via human engineering. High durability is achieved by burying CWB in an anaerobic subterranean environment several meters below ground, away from the active biosphere (vegetation, soil, and decomposers) typically limited to the first meter of the soil profile. Carbon Lockdown’s patent-pending WV design ensures an oxygen-depleted environment that prevents wood decomposition and initiates the re-fossilization of carbon.
This project is located roughly 25 miles south of the Capital Beltway (I-495) near the Potomac River. The Wood Vault will occupy one acre of a property owned by Carbon Lockdown. Soil is a heavily weathered red clay (ultisol) with low permeability, ideal for sealing the chamber to ensure anaerobic conditions. The project will bury and durably sequester a minimum net 5,000 tCO2e of residual CWB sustainably sourced from nearby commercial forestry operations, tree removal companies, commercial real estate developers, and the state and local government.
Multiple phases will add an additional 20-50 ktCO2e storage capacity to the site. Beyond the Potomac Project, Carbon Lockdown is building out a pipeline of potential project partners consisting of commercial forestry companies, solar developers, commercial real estate developers, and mine operators—as well as local, subnational, and national governments worldwide—with Mt-scale delivery potential in 2023-2025 and beyond.