Scientists working with one of Iceland’s largest power plants just demonstrated for the first time a way to lock up carbon dioxide emissions permanently by turning unwanted CO2 to stone. It’s an exciting twist on a technology that many climate experts consider necessary to stop the rise of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and it could help solve one of that technology’s thorniest challenges.
So far, most test sites for carbon capture and storage (CCS) have pumped CO2 into underground reservoirs, where it remains as a gas for long-term storage.
The new technology demonstrated at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant also pumps CO2 gas underground, but it first mixes the gas with water and then injects the mixture into volcanic basalt rocks below. The scientists found that within two years, at least 95 percent of the CO2 injected had mineralized into a chalky, environmentally benign carbonate. Scientists announced the success of the CarbFix Project in early June.
On June 24, one of the scientists involved in CarbFix—Martin Stute, a senior research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and professor of environmental science at Barnard College—will give a live-streamed presentation about the project and how the technology works.
Watch the presentation, “Turning CO2 into Stone,” live online starting at 3:30 pm EDT on Friday, June 24, or stop back later to replay the video. The presentation will be held at the Comer Seminar Room at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Learn more about the work underway at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.