Carbon Dioxide Removing: College Rankings | by Soren Vines | AlliedOffsets | Jul, 2023


This publish was co-written by Livia Duprez.

As we’ve beforehand written, carbon dioxide elimination (CDR) is a key requirement for us to achieve the 1.5 diploma goal by 2050, with the IPCC claiming that each one roads result in CDR.

As we’ve appeared deeper into the CDR sector, we’ve got recognized the essential function of academia in spearheading catalytic analysis into the house – each by way of the theoretical underpinnings of assorted applied sciences, and by way of performing as an incubator for early-stage concepts.

Due to this fact, we thought it will be informative to supply a rating for universities which might be probably the most concerned in CDR. The intention is to assist numerous actors within the house higher perceive which tutorial establishments are on the vanguard of CDR analysis and improvement.

Earlier than delving deeper into the methodology, we wished to caveat the rankings by saying the methodology is a piece in progress, and because the trade develops, so will our methodology. In different phrases – suggestions could be very a lot welcome!

Collating the preliminary pool of universities to rank

The preliminary pool of universities that have been considered have been collated via a mix of two strategies, a high down strategy and backside up strategy. The highest down strategy concerned desk analysis on what universities’ engagement with CDR has been, whereas the underside up strategy concerned quantifying the analysis outputs of assorted tutorial establishments.

Extra particularly, the high down strategy concerned parsing via the highest 100 universities from the QS rankings and categorising whether or not they’re pursuing CDR analysis at scale via an initiative, division or analysis group.

The frequent development of universities was that they’ve three varieties of departmental association when growing CDR in universities:

  • First is an unfocused analysis centre. Many power and surroundings departments, for instance, have some advert hoc analysis on Carbon Seize and Storage or power coverage and maybe a numerical mannequin on engineering of CDR applied sciences. That is the minimal requirement for a college to be on our CDR listing.
  • Second is CDR-specific college partnership resembling CO2RE, an initiative that joins seven UK universities in funding and selling CDR analysis.
  • Third is a CDR-focused, sole college division resembling Georgia Tech’s DAC Heart or UCLA’s Institute for Carbon Administration.

Along with the above, we additionally examined how a lot cash university-linked corporations had raised, as a gauge of the establishment’s monitor document in serving to to nurture profitable CDR startups.

The backside up strategy concerned trying to find the highest hits of papers by CDR methodology on Google Scholar. Determine 1 exhibits what number of papers there are for every methodology googled. To begin with, we solely took the primary 10 papers per methodology.

Determine 1: Variety of paper outcomes (hits) from google scholar vs CDR Taxonomy key phrases; simply to offer an image of the scale of the CDR house and distribution of analysis

Every paper had between one and eight authors, whom we linked to universities which might be engaged on CDR applied sciences.

We then merged the 2 databases collectively and created an inventory of the highest 30 universities which might be engaged on CDR. Word that we prioritized universities that analysis know-how on this house — some concentrate on different points of CDR, which we didn’t embrace on this analysis. As an example, Columbia College’s CDRLaw, whereas very useful, was not included in these rankings.

Rating Methodology

The rank scoring was damaged down into 4 sections:

  1. Variety of researchers: 23%

2. Mixed weighted tutorial quotation efficiency: 30%

  • All_citations
  • Citations_since_2018
  • H-index_all
  • H-index_since_2018
  • i10_index_all
  • i10_index_since_2018

3. College firm affect: 20%

4. College program: 27%

  • Unfocused division
  • CDR-focused partnership
  • CDR-focused division or initiative

Every college was then ranked primarily based on the scaled magnitude of those sub metrics above.

The outcomes from the college rating are as follows in Determine 2. The highest 5 universities are:

  1. Stanford
  2. Imperial School London
  3. College of Zurich
  4. Australian Nationwide College
  5. College of Michigan
Prime 30 universities for CDR!

Every of the highest 5 universities has a lot of college members and devoted departments with a lot of citations — besides ETH Zurich. As a substitute, Zurich has been ranked very extremely because of its launch of Climeworks which is the main DAC firm on this planet with 108 patents, 10 crops and over 800 million USD invested into it which eclipses the remainder of the competitors.

College speciality has been weakly correlated with every of the colleges and has been related by having a look at every of the web sites. It’s acknowledged that this isn’t essentially indicative of all of the analysis specialities inside every college and there could also be lacking knowledge factors. The speciality tag is a primary try at making an attempt to map college specialities.

The taxonomy is as follows:

  • BECCS — Bioenergy with Carbon Seize and Storage
  • CCS — Carbon Seize and Storage
  • DAC — Direct Air Seize
  • UTL — Utilisation
  • AFOLU — Agriculture, Forestry, and Different Land Use
  • BLU — Blue Carbon
  • OCN — Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement
  • MIN — Mineralisation
  • ERW — Enhanced Rock Weathering

For a extra in depth clarification of CDR methodologies taxonomy, see right here.

AlliedOffsets offsets have developed a preliminary college rating system to tell stakeholders which universities are main in CDR analysis and exercise.

We look ahead to suggestions from the market! For extra on our work in CDR, take a look at our newest CDR report right here.

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