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Iceland transforms carbon dioxide into limestone

in Renewable Energy by


It has no climate-related worries. However, Iceland, land of ice and fire, is the first to have created an efficient and inexpensive system of burying carbon dioxide emissions. This ingenious and revolutionary system would convert carbon dioxide into stone quickly, and possibly (surprisingly) .
This is not the first time that researchers are trying to find a solution to get rid of carbon dioxide emissions. However, according to representatives of Reykjavik Energy, who are behind this project called CarbFix, this new method of pumping the CO2 which has been dissolved in the water is crucial to the ecology.
Once pumped from the volcanic rocks of the country into basalt, carbon dioxide was transformed into limestone in a lapse of two years. The researchers themselves were surprised by the speed of this process where the gas was changed to a solid body in just two years. This transformation could have taken thousands of years, if left unattended.
This test took place 25 kilometers east of Reykjavik. The researchers injected 220 tons of CO2 in volcanic layers of up to 800 meters below the surface of the earth. They also added water which has reacted with the gas to form a key factor in mineral reactions, carbonic acid. Samples were taken at several intervals from nearby wells.
“We must fight against rising carbon emissions and it is a technique to store permanently shaped stone,” said Juerg Matter who is the head of this project, at a function at the University of Southampton, UK.

We must fight against rising carbon emissions” – Matter

A potential challenge for the new technique is that it requires large amounts of water; that is, 25 tons for every ton of CO2 buried. However, Juerg Matter considers that sea water could be used, which already abounds on coastal sites.
“In the future, we may consider using it for power plants in places where there are a lot of basalt and there are many of these places,” said Martin Stute, part of the research team at Columbia University, US.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that storing carbon dioxide is extremely important in the fight against climate change at a very effective and inexpensive way.


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