It seems like the work of scientists regarding the carbon dioxide emissions has paid off. The Hellisheidi geothermal power plant close to Reykjavik, Iceland, provided a team of experts with the equipment needed to perform such an experiment.
The team was able to pump plant’s volcanic gasses rich in carbon dioxide into basalt formations deep underground. After mixing these gasses with water, the carbon dioxide was chemically solidified. It is the first time in history when an electric power plant has managed to prevent carbon dioxide emissions from being released in the air.
According to Martin Stute, co-author of the study and hydrologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York, this process is a scientific breakthrough and a significant step towards safe storage of the carbon dioxide emissions.
It is worth mentioning that basalt is a volcanic rock consisting of around 70 percent of the entire earth’s surface. However, when it gets into contact with water and carbon dioxide, a chemical reaction converts the gas to a solid rock with a chalk appearance.
It only took two years for scientists to make this solution effective during this project, called CarbFix. After the first successful attempt, even scientists were surprised by the fantastic results.
Nevertheless, some experts believe that storing carbon dioxide underground might have severe consequences as it can leak into the atmosphere through earth fissures or worse, directly explode, leading to a climate cataclysm.
Therefore, the team of scientists came up with the idea of converting carbon dioxide emissions into stone. By doing this, the carbon dioxide will be safely contained.
However, further research is needed as the researchers want to understand the way different types of basalt affect the solidifying process of the carbon dioxide. Plus, they do not know yet how this process would be affected if they replaced fresh water with readily available saltwater.
Another positive aspect is the fact that the solidification process is very fast, preventing the carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. If scientists decide that this process is 100% percent safe, then the face of the world will be changed as carbon dioxide emissions will be captured and stored in time. In other words, air pollution will become history.
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