Rapid carbon mineralization for permanent disposal of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions (4 page pdf, Juerg M. Matter, Martin Stute, Sandra Ó. Snæbjörnsdottir, Eric H. Oelkers, Sigurdur R. Gislason, Edda S. Aradottir, Bergur Sigfusson, Ingvi Gunnarsson, Holmfridur Sigurdardottir, Einar Gunnlaugsson, Gudni Axelsson, Helgi A. Alfredsson, Domenik Wolff-Boenisch, Kiflom Mesfin, Diana Fernandez de la Reguera Taya, Jennifer Hall, Knud Dideriksen, Wallace S. Broecker, Science, Jun.10, 2016)
Also discussed here: Climate change mitigation: Turning carbon dioxide into rock (Science Daily, Jun. 9, 2016)
Today we review research conducted in Iceland into a technique that converts atmospheric CO2 into a carbonate solid for storage underground rather than the better known CCS approach which attempts to store CO2 underground in its gaseous state, with all of the risks of it leaking back into the atmosphere later. Preliminary testing and drilling near Reykjavik indicate that up to 5,000 tonnes of CO2/year can be stored this way. The feasibility for this to significantly address global emissions will be tested when this technique is scaled up to much larger rates.
“The CarbFix pilot project in Iceland was designed to promote and verify in situ CO2 mineralization in basaltic rocks for the permanent disposal of anthropogenic CO2 emissions …. is situated about 25 km east of Reykjavik and is equipped with a 2000-m-deep injection well (HN02) and eight monitoring wells ranging in depth from 150 to 1300 m”
“greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be permanently and rapidly locked away from the atmosphere, by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The CO2 reacts with the surrounding rock, forming environmentally benign minerals….Our results show that between 95 and 98 per cent of the injected CO2 was mineralised over the period of less than two years, which is amazingly fast."
“The CO2 is dissolved in water and carried down the well. On contact with the target storage rocks, at 400-800 metres under the ground, the solution quickly reacts with the surrounding basaltic rock, forming carbonate minerals.”
"Carbonate minerals do not leak out of the ground, thus our newly developed method results in permanent and environmentally friendly storage of CO2 emissions,"
"Storing CO2 as carbonate minerals significantly enhances storage security which should improve public acceptance of Carbon Capture and Storage as a climate change mitigation technology,"
“The results of this study demonstrate that nearly complete in situ CO2 mineralization in basaltic rocks can occur in less than 2 years. Once stored within carbonate minerals, the leakage risk is eliminated and any monitoring program of the storage site can be significantly reduced, thus enhancing storage security and potentially public acceptance.”