iceland turns carbon dioxide to rock for cleaner air - air cleaner
In the heart of Iceland's volcanic state, 21-
Century alchemist turns carbon dioxide forever into rock and cleans the harmful emissions of air that cause global warming.
The technology imitates a natural process that may take thousands of years in accelerated form, injecting carbon dioxide into porous basalt stones where it will be mineralised and capture it forever.
"With this approach, we actually dramatically changed the time scale," said geologists Sandra Osk Snaebjornsdottir . ".
Carbon dioxide is a large greenhouse gas emitted by Iceland's transportation sector, industry and volcanoes.
The United Nations Special Committee on Climate Change is promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS)
The method is designed to limit the average temperature rise to 1.
5 degrees Celsius.
Snaebjornsdottir is working with researchers and engineers from utilities Reykjavik Energy, the University of Iceland, the National Center for Scientific Research in France on the CarbFix project in Iceland (CNRS)
Columbia University in the United States. -
Petrochemical two years later.
In Iceland, a country of fountains, glaciers and volcanoes, at least half of the energy comes from geothermal.
This is a huge asset for researchers at CarbFix who have changed the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant-
One of the largest in the world-
Into their own lab.
Located on the Hengling volcano in southwestern Iceland, the plant is located on a layer of basalt formed by cooling lava, and almost unlimited amounts of water can be obtained.
The plant pumps water under the volcano and runs six turbines to provide about 30 kilometers of electricity and heat to the capital Reykjavik (18 miles)away.
At the same time, carbon dioxide is captured from Steam, liquefied into condensate, and then dissolved in a large amount of water.
"So basically we're just making soda water out of carbon dioxide," said Edda Sif Aradottir, project director . ".
Soda water is transported to a few kilometers through a pipe, gray Ice House
Round dome on the moonlike landscape.
Here, under high pressure, carbonated water is injected into the Rock. 000 metres (3. 300 feet)
The solution fills the cavity of the Rock and begins the solidification process--
The chemical reaction that occurs when the gas is in contact with calcium, magnesium, and iron in the basalt.
"In our pilot injection, almost all of the injected carbon dioxide is mineralised within two years," said Snaebjornsdottir . ".
Once carbon dioxide becomes rock, it will be captured forever.
"If you have a volcano. . .
You heat the rock to a very high temperature, and then some minerals break down and may dissolve in the water, "says Sigurdur Gislason, a geochemist at the University of Iceland.
But "this is the safest and most stable form of storing carbon," he noted ".
The last eruption was thousands of years ago. -
Method of thirst
The CarbFix project reduced the plant's carbon dioxide emissions by a third, equivalent to 12.
000 tons of carbon dioxide were captured and stored at a cost of about $25 per ton.
By contrast, Iceland's volcanoes emit 2 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.
The main drawback of this approach is the need for a large amount of watered down water, which, while rich in Iceland, is rare in many other parts of the Earth.
It takes about 25 tons of water for every ton of carbon dioxide injected.
"This is a fatal weakness of this approach," said Snaebjornsdottir . ".
"I agree that this process uses a lot of water, but we get a lot by permanently removing the carbon dioxide that is floating in the atmosphere," Aradottir said . ".
Experiments are currently under way to adapt this method to saline water.
Under the Paris climate agreement, Iceland agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
However, its emissions increased by 2.
2% from 2016 to 2017, according to a report by the Icelandic Ministry of Environment, it has risen by 85% since 1990.
The third type of emissions comes from air transport, which is critical to the island's tourism industry.
Aluminum plants and silicon plants accounted for the third.
Goodmundo Ingi goodbranson, Iceland's Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, said he "encouraged" the plants to also develop mechanisms for carbon capture and storage.