Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Tuesday, August 30 2022 - 10:00
Modified grass offers possible solution to global CO² problem
HENGELO, Netherlands, August 30, 2022 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/--

Dutch company Carbon-Alert is working in Colombia to solve the world's carbon 
problem by creating artificial peat. A new plant species is thought to be able 
to speed up this process to a very high degree, resulting in the storage of 
millions of tons of CO² underground.

How does it work?

Carbon-Alert plants so-called Juncao grass in Colombia. This plant, also called 
giant grass, comes from the African tropics and was modified in China. It grows 
very quickly under warm conditions, up to 5 metres in 2 months. More 
importantly, it absorbs an extreme amount of CO², as discovered by Chinese 
researcher Lei Xuejun, director of the Carbon Cycle Research Centre at the 
Central South University of Forestry & Technology in Hunan. Carbon-Alert wants 
to partially liquefy the plant and inject it under the groundwater. As a 
result, all the CO² the plant takes from the air disappears into the soil. This 
is an accelerated form of peat formation, as the Earth has purportedly been 
doing for 200 million years.

Tropical innovation

Carbon-Alert is kicking off its project with 4000 hectares of land in Colombia. 
There is an important reason for this: the giant grass requires night 
temperatures of at least 20 degrees. This represents a huge opportunity for 
innovation in tropical regions. Trees were to be planted on the site, which in 
the long run would store about 0.5 to 1 ton of root carbon in the soil. 
However, the giant grass absorbs about 200 to 300 times more CO², according to 
research by Lei Xuejun*. Moreover, the plant does not bear seeds and is 
therefore not invasive.

What does it produce?

Carbon-Alert calculated that 1 million km² of grass offsets all CO² emissions 
worldwide**. 'An area the size of half of Europe', explains initiator Jacobus 
van Merksteijn. 'A huge area, but also a natural alternative for all the solar 
panels, wind turbines and electric cars in the world. The process provides CO² 
storage, but it can also help fertilise desert areas, produce biomass, 
bioethanol and green plastic, and offset oil, coal and gas.'

CO² certificates

The injected CO² is seen as so-called CO² SINK, which can be converted into 
Certificates. These can be purchased by companies to offset their emissions. 
The Netherlands currently sells about €1 billion worth of CO² certificates, 
without compensation. By converting the giant grass CO² storage in tropical 
areas into certificates, we are able to actually convert these amounts into 
valuable CO² reductions. This generates revenue for governments and 
opportunities for business.

About the project

Carbon-Alert was founded by entrepreneur Jacobus van Merksteijn and aims to 
effectively tackle the global climate problem by harnessing the power of 
nature. Albert van den Berg, director of the nano-institute MESA+ at the 
University of Twente, which is part of a consortium looking for solutions to 
the CO² problem, says: 'Van Merkstein's plan for negative-emission technology 
is worth studying. We have to check the calculations, but the plan is certainly 
an original idea. It could indeed be an option.'


Carbon-Alert works with partners such as the Swiss company aXedras and several 
investors including VerdorCapital. The entire process is carried out in 
accordance with internationally recognised standards such as UNFCCC-CDM, VCS 
and Gold Standard and is audited and verified by independent external 

For presentations and images, please visit:

*Source: (source:

** Source calculation in presentation on

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SOURCE: Carbon Alert BV