A recent Guardian article "Spreading rock dust on fields could remove vast amounts of CO2 from air" has gotten some attention in the nongovernmental and UN organizations working in the Sahel who are desperate to combat the adverse effects of climate change in the region. This article is based on a Nature publication on enhanced rock weathering (ERW).
Let's pretend a large international organization has tasked a newly employed software developer to look into the feasibility of performing ERW in the Sahel. Now this let's say this software developer, who has no geological background whatsoever, is trying to figure out what it would take to run a ERW pilot in the Sahel and decided to investigate Bol, Chad to have a specific place to focus on.
Ideally, this pilot would seek to test two things (i) is ERW feasible to perform in the region of conflict, (ii) does the crushed basalt or silicate, which is added to the soil, increase crop yield?
In order to determine if this pilot is feasible to even consider I think the following should be investigated:
- Current farming methods in the region
- Feasibility of acquiring and transporting crushed basalt or silicate
- Method for applying the basalt or silicate to the soil
What else should I look at?
If you were given this (completely hypothetical) task where would you start?
Is there any giant red flag I am missing which would be enough of a reason not to move forward with a pilot?