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Carbon Capture and Carbon Sequestration


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What is NIST's carbon capture program? 

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Even with the transition to renewable energy sources, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) are critical technologies needed to reach US climate goals.  Carbon capture (CC) at point sources is vital for mitigating emissions from power and industrial plants.  CDR, focused on capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (Direct air capture, DAC) or ocean and durably storing the CO2, can address legacy emissions that have built up in the atmosphere over the past century.  While CDR can provide a net negative emissions capability to help offset industries difficult to completely decarbonize, CDR is in the very early stages of technology development.  

NIST, in coordination with industry and other agencies, is developing benchmark materials, measurements, data, and models to accelerate innovation in and validate performance of materials and technologies for CDR and CCUS. Our work contributes to the development and commercialization of new carbon mitigation technologies, necessary for the world to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. 

NIST Low-Carbon Cements and Concretes Consortium

A new consortium is bringing together stakeholders to identify and address measurement and standards needs related to low carbon cements and concretes for reducing the overall greenhouse gas emissions from cement and concrete products. The consortium will develop measurement solutions and standards to improve measurement confidence, establish measurement traceability, and enable comparability in the measurements to quantify carbon and carbonate in low carbon cements and concretes. Participants are required to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

For more information or to apply for a membership:
Visit the consortium page or contact lowcarbonconcrete [at] (lowcarbonconcrete[at]nist[dot]gov)

A community of knowledge

Our work is informed by stakeholders from industry, academia, and other federal agencies. The community has confirmed the need for validation of:

  • New materials and technologies
  • Scalable solutions
  • Global carbon accounting

We are accelerating achievement of these critical outcomes with a current focus on the:

  1. Characterization of sorbents and membranes for DAC and CC
  2. Measurement of CO2 uptake in cements and concretes



CO2 uptake, binding interactions, adsorption/desorption kinetics, thermodynamics, and capacities:

  • Adsorption isotherms and breakthrough measurements
  • IR, optical, X-ray, electron spectroscopies
  • Neutron techniques
  • Nanocalorimetry, thermogravimetry, etc.

Chemical Informatics

  • Open database for literature isotherms
  • Molecular simulations
  • Reference methods, materials, and data
  • Uncertainty evaluation and minimization
  • Intercomparison studies
Created June 13, 2022, Updated December 16, 2022