Julio Friedmann is a carbon wrangler. Wrangling entails three things: keeping carbon emissions from the air and oceans, taking them out of the air and oceans, and creating a circular economy where the carbon is used and restored. This sounds like a futuristic system, but carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are actually quite mature. Ever drank beer or soda pop? You’re almost certainly drinking CO2 that came from a capture device in a power plant. We’ve known how to wrangle carbon for decades; what isn’t mature is the financing mechanisms and the policy. But as Julio argues, “we’re all on the clock and winning slowly is the same as losing,” so it’s time to double down on CCS efforts.
Julio is probably the world’s leading thinker on CCS technologies. He is distinguished associate at the Energy Futures Initiative and senior advisor at the Global CCS Institute. Previously, he served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy at the US DOE, chief energy technologist for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, senior research scientist at ExxonMobil, and faculty at the University of Maryland. He has a PhD from the University of Southern California, and is a Breakthrough Senior Fellow (2018). @CarbonWrangler
Find a full transcript of the interview here.
Mentioned in this episode:
The US budget bill passed in February includes a landmark carbon capture tax credit, which names an explicit price for carbon. It proves that CCS needs strong technology policy, just like solar did.
A robust analysis from the International Energy Agency on storing CO2 through enhanced oil recovery.
Coffee (Julio's second favorite thing in the world) emits a lot of CO2 during the roasting process, but those emissions can be recycled as carbon capture material.