State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Watch Live: Turning CO2 to Stone, Scientists Discuss a Climate Solution

 Martin Stute, a Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists who will be giving a live-streamed seminar about the CarbFix Project, talks with Edda Sif Arradotir of Reykjavik Energy in front of the piping system that pumps emissions back underground. Photo: Kevin Krajick

Martin Stute of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Barnard College talks with Edda Sif Arradotir of Reykjavik Energy in front of a piping system that pumps CO2 emissions underground at the Hellisheidi power plant. Photo: Kevin Krajick

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.




Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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