Researchers have demonstrated a unique carbon capture and storage process that can convert carbon dioxide into environmentally friendly limestone in less than two years.
Unfortunately, current options for carbon dioxide storage are very not effective, prompting Dr. Juerg Matter’s team to try something new.
220 tonnes of carbon dioxide captured from this power plant was mixed with water to form fizzy water.
The fizzy water was then pumped underground into volcanic basalt rock. Since this water is acidic, it dissolves calcium and magnesium in the basalt rock.
These minerals then reacted with the carbon dioxide converting it into calcium or magnesium carbonate, also known as limestone.
The team also tested the deeper ground water to ensure that all of the metals leached from the basalt rock by the fizzy water were solidified into the limestone formations.
To everyone’s surprise, rock samples extracted after only two years showed 95% conversion of the greenhouse gas.
Fortunately, the process may be quite widely applicable because the key ingredient, basalt rock, is reasonably common and can be found on every continent and all over the ocean floor.