In Iceland scientists are developing a new way to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality by turning toxic air in solid rock. CCTV’s Zhang He reported this story from Reykjavik, Iceland.
To store carbon dioxide underground, Iceland scientists dissolve CO2 in water, and inject it into reactive volcanic basalt rock. Within a year, over 80 percent of the CO2 will transform into solid carbonate minerals, experts said.
Scientists turn CO2 in solid rock in potential fix to climate changeIn Iceland scientists are developing a new way to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality by turning toxic air in solid rock. CCTV’s Zhang He reported this story from Reykjavik, Iceland.
The test are being conducted close to Hellisheidi Power Plant, a geothermal power plant in Reykjavik, that offers excellent conditions for the study as it has water, CO2, and basalt rocks.
“Iceland is, in general, a good place to inject CO2, when your main objective is to minimize CO2 and turn it into stone. Because Iceland is pretty much rich in basalt, and it is the chemical composition of basalt that is very beneficial for storage of CO2,” Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir a chemist at Reykjavik Energy said.
Iceland’s electricity and heating are virtually CO2-free, due to its abundant geothermal resources, but the power plant still produces 60,000 tons of CO2 a year.
“Close to each of the geothermal power plants, there are air quality exposition stations for both H2S (hydrogen sulfide) and quite often CO2. So this is extracting nature resources for green energy, but still, on the opposite side you are still putting something in the air,” Sara Barsotti of the Icelandic Meteorological Office said.
In the rock method, the carbon released is returned back where it was extracted, instead of freeing it to the atmosphere. It is also more difficult for gas to escape.
The project’s implications for the fight against global warming is considerable, as basalt bedrock is widely found on the planet. If scaled up, it could become a new weapon to fight against climate change.