A Primer on Carbon Dioxide Removal Speaks to Curious Minds

Jennifer Wilcox, one of the world’s leading carbon capture experts, along with dozens of contributing scholars, today unveiled a primer on carbon dioxide removal. This free, digital publication is written accessibly in order to reach a broad audience of “curious minds” committed to resolving the climate crisis.

“Avoiding carbon and actively removing it from the atmosphere on the scale of gigatons will ultimately be required for meeting our climate goals,” said Wilcox. “It is my hope that this primer will help in creating the human capital required to meet this gigaton-scale challenge.”

Wilcox, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, co-edited the primer with Ben Kolosz, a research associate in environmental data science at the University of Pennsylvania and Jeremy Freeman, the executive director of CarbonPlan, a non-profit dedicated to carbon removal research. The project represents more than two years of collaborative work with nearly 40 authors.

“We are living in a climate crisis,” the introduction states. “Whether this lasts for decades, or indefinitely, depends on the actions that governments, companies, and communities take today that CDR is a vital part of any serious plan to address climate change.”

The primer provides a common language for understanding today’s carbon capture strategies, including:

  • direct air capture
  • carbon storage and sequestration in natural basins
  • bioenergy with carbon capture
  • reforestation
  • carbon-friendly soil management practices
  • ocean enhancement

“We have a vision that this primer will be the go-to source for young practitioners, people that are interested in the subject, and we anticipate seeing a copy at home on desks, coffee tables and in classrooms” Kolosz said.

“We’re thrilled to be sharing this new resource online and fully in the open. The topic is complex and cross-disciplinary, and we want as many people as possible to be able to learn and contribute,” said Freeman.

Find the primer at

About the Editors. Jennifer Wilcox is the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy at University of Pennsylvania and on faculty at Penn’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. Ben Kolosz is a Research Associate in Environmental Data Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Jeremy Freeman is the Executive Director of CarbonPlan.

About the Kleinman Center. The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy operates within the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Its mission is to create the conditions for policy innovation that support a just and efficient transition to sustainable energy.

About the Weitzman School. The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation.

About Penn Engineering. The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania is comprised of six academic departments and numerous interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and laboratories. Penn Engineering’s goal is to prepare students for leadership roles in a technological world where creativity, critical quantitative thinking, effective communication skills and a strong commitment to humane values are essential.