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Experiment that (Turns CO2 into) Rocks

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Experiment that (Turns CO2 into) Rocks

Hellisheiði geothermal power plant

Hellisheiði geothermal power plant. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Yesterday, the journal Science published an article describing the revolutionary success of an experiment done in Iceland, aiming at safely and permanently storing CO2. The study demonstrates how CO2 can be permanently disposed of as environmentally benign carbonic minerals in basaltic rocks. In short, you can turn CO2 into rocks.

The study was done by Reykjavik Energy, in cooperation with US and European scientists. The plant emits 40,000 tons of CO2 annually. The study revealed that 95 percent of the220 tons of waste CO2 injected into the experimental site was mineralized to carbonate minerals in less than two years. The common view had been that the conversion of CO2 into rocks takes centuries, even millennia.

The process in believed to provide a potentially important method of undoing some of the damage done by fossil fuel burning in the world.

The results are referred to in the international press as a milestone in the fight against global warming, RÚV reports.

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