EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Addition of Alkalinity to Rivers: a novel strategy for Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

Shannon Sterling1,2, Edmund Halfyard2, and Kristin Hart1,2
Shannon Sterling et al.
  • 1Dalhousie University, Earth Sciences, Halifax, Canada (
  • 2CarbonRun Carbon Dioxide Removal Ltd., Halifax Canada

Effective carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies are urgently needed to reduce risks of climate change. Here we propose a new strategy for Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement that targets the land-to-ocean component of the inorganic carbon cycle: river-based alkalinity and weathering enhancement (RAWE). RAWE adapts freshwater acidification mitigation technology to capture CO2 through mineral weathering and by increasing rivers’ capacity to retain and transport bicarbonate to long-term storage in the ocean. Field experiments in Nova Scotia rivers demonstrate the proof of concept, and global-scale modelling of RAWE indicates a potential millions of tonnes of CDR per year. Results suggest that RAWE meets CDR criteria, such as scalability, permanence, safety, and ability to simply quantify the CO2 removed, whilst delivering ecological co-benefits. 

How to cite: Sterling, S., Halfyard, E., and Hart, K.: Addition of Alkalinity to Rivers: a novel strategy for Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16677,, 2023.