Research Reveals High Carbon Capture Potential in Green Stormwater Systems

Sourced from Griffith News

A Griffith University researcher has brought engineering and ecological science under the one umbrella to reveal that carbon capture is a significant phase in the carbon footprint life cycle of vegetated stormwater systems.

Led by PhD candidate Emad Kavehei, who worked alongside Dr Graham Jenkins from the School of Engineering and Built Environment, Dr Fernanda Adame from Griffith’s Australian Rivers Institute and Professor Charles Lemckert from the Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Canberra, the research offers insights into the carbon footprint of vegetated stormwater infrastructure and appears in the journal Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews

Much of what engineers and decision makers understand about the carbon footprint is limited to the four phases of the ‘life cycle assessment’ method. This includes the material production, construction, operation and maintenance, plus the end-of-life phases.  

However, with the emergence of green or vegetated alternatives to conventional stormwater infrastructure, these systems are bridging gaps between engineering and ecology to improve sustainability and control the environmental impacts of urban development on the downstream environment.  

“What we’ve done in this paper is merge engineering and ecology,” Mr Kavehei said.  

“There are already many papers that talk about the benefits of stormwater basins that are vegetated, but in these systems there are also carbon sequestration potentials, and the studies have not examined these benefits and these potentials together.”

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