In Iceland carbon dioxide emissions turned into minerals


Icelandic experimental setting effectively disposed of greenhouse carbon dioxide, turning it into minerals. And with such speed that the developers themselves were surprised.

Iceland’s CarbFix project confirmed the efficiency of utilization of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by pumping a volcanic rock to mineralization. An international group of experts published the results of experiments in the journal Science.

The CarbFix project was launched in 2012. Experienced a complex on recycling of carbon dioxide emitted nearby geothermal power plant, Hellisheidi, is approximately 25 kilometres from Reykjavik. Gas that is dissolved in water, pumped into the well two-kilometer depth, less than eight deep wells are used for monitoring. Absorbing carbon dioxide in the layers of basalt and hyaloclastite located at depths of 400 to 800 meters and is covered with a layer of low permeable hyaloclastite.

In the first phase of the experiment from January to March 2012, the well has pumped 175 tons of dissolved carbon dioxide, the second from June to August of the same year, 73 tons of a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, which is also excreted by the plant. For the convenience of monitoring solutions has added carbon dioxide containing radioactive carbon-14, labeled with radionuclides and volatile hexafluoride and sulfur triftormetilfullerenov.

Observations have shown that within two years, more than 95 percent of the carbon dioxide reacted with the surrounding rock and mineralized with the formation of carbonate rocks (mostly calcite), which eliminates the risk of leakage to the atmosphere. According to the project Manager Aradottir Edda (Edda Aradóttir), such the pace of recovery surprised the designers.

Currently, the project mineralizes five thousand tons of carbon dioxide annually. In the summer of 2016 it is planned to install new equipment which will double that number. The cost of recycling one ton is 30 dollars, which is cheaper than traditional methods that require a 65 to 100 dollars per ton.

According to Aradottir, high water consumption of 25 tons per ton of carbon dioxide is not a problem, because these goals do salty ocean water. She added that the basaltic lava covered about 10 percent of the land and nearly all ocean floor, salinity carbon dioxide has great application prospects.

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