Researchers have find out how to turn CO2 into solid rock, within months.
This rock it is not an ordinary one, but a storage unit for carbon emissions—and it could finally be a solution to our environment.
Above, Carbon capture rock. Credit Annette K. Mortensen / University of Southampton
According to a new study published in Science, scientists collected carbon emissions from the atmosphere and dissolved them in water. Then sealed them with basalt rocks, in an underground well in Iceland. After a period of two years, the carbon emissions reacted with the basalt, to create carbon storage rocks.
Study coauthor Martin Stute, a hydrologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said:
“This means that we can pump down large amounts of CO2 and store it in a very safe way over a very short period of time. In the future, we could think of using this for power plants in places where there’s a lot of basalt–and there are many such places.”
Kevin Krajick/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Edda Aradottir, who heads the project for Reykjavik Energy, explains:
“People said there was very little truth to that–they thought it couldn’t happen that fast. Then, it happened much faster. It was a very welcome surprise.”
Sigurdur Gislason, a University of Iceland geologist and study coauthor, said:
“Geothermal companies around the world have shown interest in the technology. But,its greatest promise would be with fossil-fuel-powered plants, smelters and other heavy industries that produce far more emissions. The main stumbling block beyond the needed basalt, is the water required, about 25 tons for every ton of CO2. But, in many places seawater could be used.”