In the 'climate emergency', we, if I may Grasshopper, need to understand that every additional C atom in the atmosphere beyond the amount needed for a 'safe climate' has the potential to contribute to 'climate heating', 'climate chaos', 'climate change', 'climate disruption' et al
In other words, every little thing I do matters but what I do now matters the most. Yes, many have argued, in terms of 'climate justice', that there's an historic responsibility for Carbon emissions but lets not dwell on that for now as it opens too many wounds but should not be forgotten and preferably acted upon. There is an important point to make here though - there's already too much Carbon in the atmosphere, that we need to remove, plus the additional C emissions between now and 2050 when most nations are obliged to reach Zero Emissions, which is a huge effort in itself but will not remove these historical emissions. What makes more sense is if we build into the economies Carbon negative technologies (along with a range of other strategies) so by the time we reach 2050 we may already be going 'beyond zero emissions' and achieve 'C negative emissions'.
Here's a definition of 'Carbon negative technology' that I've been working on taking a 'Cradle to Grave' approach:
"The Carbon removed and probably offset over the lifespan of the technology is more than the Carbon required to 'mine'* the raw materials, refine the raw materials, produce the final materials, build the technology with the materials, transport the technology to the user, use the technology then repurpose or recycle the technology at the end of the service life."
*which could include direct air capture (DAC) of Carbon or include biochar Carbon from biomass to produce Carbon-based materials, just to muddy the waters.
It would be great if you could make TLUD stoves and Kon-Tiki biochar kilns from a biochar-based material! 'Carbon negative' 'Green steel' would be the next best option, maybe using a BECCS power generator to produce power for 'Green Hydrogen' for Iron Oxide reduction with biochar as a by-product that can be used for many applications such as 2D/3D printed Carbon-based perovskite PV panels printed on site for additional power supply using the principle of 'In-situ resource utilization' (ISRU). The biochar would need to be milled to a fine powder then turned into printer ink for the printer.
In this scenario, a lot of sustainably and fast growing biomass near the steel mill would be needed (eg. if the mill is near the sea such as Whyalla or Port Kembla, microalgae grown in seawater ponds onshore or maybe even macroalgae/sea kelp offshore. Other products could also be refined from the micro and macro algae such as health supplements, pharmaceuticals, biodiesel, fish, livestock and human food) and extremely energy efficient Hydrogen electrolysers, like the Hysata capillary action ones, would be needed for onsite H2 production. Ideally the electrolysis would use seawater to avoid the desalination step and save time and money with less technology needed, though fluorine nanoring membranes from Japan looks very promising.
It is unclear if Hysata tech uses seawater or freshwater as this info is not on their website (even though they have a nice seawater splash screen) and they probably won't reply to my email question about it...Try doing a Google search for "recent advances seawater electrolysis". What would be interesting is if someone could invent a 'Green Hydrogen' on demand system, from electrolysis of seawater eg.plasma arc (HSA), that could produce H2 as fast as it is needed and avoid the storage problem (handy for self-powered marine transport where there is limitless seawater and space is an issue). Note, FFI is using demineralised water. Alternatively, Direct Air Electrolysis (DAE) can be used, though the tech is at it's early stages, which could be great for areas that lack any type of water but have access to renewable energy.
An activated Carbon machine (Bygen) could also be used onsite to 'activate' biochar from the generator and place it in tanks for H2 storage so there is a buffer if demand is higher than the rate the H2 can be produced which is the most likely scenario.
A sustainable 'Industrial Ecology' is possible for steel production and probably other Carbon intensive operations as well.
What's probable (Classical) or what's possible (Quantum) - or both or neither. It's probable (though I don't think any person or computer knows how probable) that much of the Planet will die with most species including us on it (the 'Sixth mass extinction') in the not too distant future (maybe in the next couple of hundred years but there seems to be a lack of scientific research that goes beyond 2100) if we don't significantly change course BUT it's possible that we and many other species can still survive for a very long time if we focus on and put all our efforts into that possibility. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if we lack ambition, vision and energy. We are the 'weather makers' according to Professor Tim Flannery. Welcome to the Anthropocene! I'm frankly tired of reading about scientific probabilities of species extinctions, climate tipping points and projections of what will happen when the climate heats up. I'm now in action mode. For me, I want to now focus on possibilities like Carbon negative technology eg.biochar, regenerative agroforestry and the https://www.half-earthproject.org/. Maybe combine all three!
'Radio Ecoshock' - does a great job informing the public about the latest developments in climate research. There's a whole lot of past episodes/podcasts you can tap into if you're new to this space.