Friday, June 10, 2016

Stonewalling Climate Change?

By Oscar A. Escobar
Florida, EE.UU. - Gt.

Rapid carbon mineralization for permanent disposal of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions” 
Juerg M. Matter et al.
Science 10 Jun 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6291, pp. 1312-1314 DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8132

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) provides a solution toward decarbonization of the global economy. The success of this solution depends on the ability to safely and permanently store CO2. This study demonstrates for the first time the permanent disposal of CO2 as environmentally benign carbonate minerals in basaltic rocks. We find that over 95% of the CO2 injected into the CarbFix site in Iceland was mineralized to carbonate minerals in less than 2 years. This result contrasts with the common view that the immobilization of CO2 as carbonate minerals within geologic reservoirs takes several hundreds to thousands of years. Our results, therefore, demonstrate that the safe long-term storage of anthropogenic CO2 emissions through mineralization can be far faster than previously postulated.

I don’t usually write about carbon capture geoengineering, but this report on a carbon capture and storage technology seems to have been received with measured enthusiasm (by media standards) in the science and media communities.

Enthusiasm because…

The results of this study demonstrate that nearly complete in situ CO2 mineralization in basaltic rocks can occur in less than 2 years. Once stored within carbonate minerals, the leakage risk is eliminated and any monitoring program of the storage site can be significantly reduced, thus enhancing storage security and potentially public acceptance.” 1

The Hellisheidi operation has an advantage in that it largely uses the plant's existing infrastructure to reinject the solution, and doesn't bother purifying the CO2. Its cost is only $30 a ton, said Aradottir.” 2

“Measured” enthusiasm because…

The main stumbling block beyond the needed basalt, he said, is the water required—about 25 tons for every ton of CO2.” 2

Another possible hitch: a separate study out this May identified subterranean microbes that seem capable of feeding off carbonate minerals and using them to release methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. That means nature could sneak in and reverse the solidification process. Such microbes were thought to exist only on the deep ocean floor, but researchers found them in a California spring. Microbiologists from the Paris Institute of Earth Physics have already started studying underground microbes at the Carbfix site to investigate how they might interact with the carbon in injection.” 2

An interesting perspective would be... how will this ‘breakthrough’ play out in the larger energy issue.

Will this technology, whether it proves effective or not at ‘stonewalling’ climate change, have the side effect of stonewalling renewable energy also?

I hope it really works! And that at the same time, it does not hinder the transition to renewables as the main source of energy on the global scale.


Rapid carbon mineralization for permanent disposal of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions”

In a first, Iceland power plant turns carbon emissions to stone


Best lines yet on a media article:

"By burying CO2 in the right sort of rock, a team of alchemists led by Juerg Matter, a geologist at Southampton University, in Britain, was able to transmute it into stone."

From the Economist:

Turning air into stone

More Media Responses:

Quickfire carbon capture method turns CO2 into solid rock within two years
Carbon capture and storage, or carbon sequestration, is one approach proposed to offset mounting C02 emissions, but the possibility of gas seeping out and escaping into the atmosphere is one of the factors holding the technology back. Researchers have ...

Iceland Carbon Capture Project Quickly Converts Carbon Dioxide Into Stone
Most conventional carbon capture and storage projects inject liquefied carbon dioxide into sedimentary rocks, the type of rocks in which oil and natural gas are found. Because oil and gas companies have so much experience working with these types of ...

Iceland Carbon Dioxide Storage Project Locks Away Gas, and Fast
New York Times
For years, scientists and others concerned about climate change have been talking about the need for carbon capture and sequestration. That is the term for removing carbon dioxide from, say, a coal-burning power plant's smokestack and pumping it deep ...

A Power Plant in Iceland Has Turned Its CO 2 Into Stone
Practical-minded environmentalists and coal sympathizers alike have long touted carbon capture and underground storage as a low-emissions way to help the world's economy wean itself off fossil fuels. But extracting the troublesome greenhouse gas from ...

Iceland carbon capture project turns CO2 into stone
The World Weekly
Other experiments have seen pure carbon dioxide injected into sandstone or deep salty aquifers, and have relied on layers of impermeable rocks to contain the stored gas. However, it had always been feared that the carbon dioxide would eventually find a ...

Turning air into stone
The Economist
One idea, carbon capture and storage (CCS), involves collecting the gas from power stations and factories and burying it underground where it can do no harm. But CCS is expensive and mostly untried. One worry is whether the buried gas will stay put.

CO2 turned into stone in Iceland in climate change breakthrough
The Guardian
Such carbon capture and storage (CCS) is thought to be essential to halting global warming, but existing projects store the CO2 as a gas and concerns about costs and potential leakage have halted some plans. The new research pumped CO2 into the ...

This Iceland plant just turned carbon dioxide into solid rock — and they did it super fast
Washington Post
Other experts involved in the carbon capture and sequestration hailed the results reported by the group Thursday. “Carbon storage is a critical piece of the global initiative to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and realization of the Mission ...

Scientists turn carbon dioxide into stone to combat global warming
The Verge ‎
Researchers have developed a way to capture and store carbon dioxide by turning it into stone. Their technique, described in a paper published this week in the journal Science, could provide a safer, faster way to sequester CO2 and limit global warming.

Iceland Is Turning Carbon Emissions Into Stone
“It's a way of storing carbon dioxide underground that prior to this research was thought to be too slow to be useful.” When researchers and policy makers talk about carbon capture, they're usually referring to injecting pure carbon dioxide into the ...

Scientists Turn Carbon Dioxide Emissions into Stone
Scientific American
For the first time, carbon dioxide emissions from an electric power plant have been captured, pumped underground and solidified—the first step toward safe carbon capture and storage, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Science.

Scientists turn chief global warming gas into harmless stone
"Carbon capture is not the silver bullet, but it can contribute significantly to reducing carbon dioxide emissions," Matter said. However, carbon capture can be expensive — especially the capturing part. Once the gas is grabbed from the air, storing ...

Climate change breakthrough as Iceland turns carbon dioxide into stone
The Independent
Even more surprisingly, after only two years scientists found 95 per cent of the gas was captured and converted, far quicker than initial predictions, which suggested the carbon capture and storage (CCS) process could take thousands or even hundreds of ...

Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Stone
Undark Magazine
Writing in the journal Science, an international team of researchers suggested that this form of what's known as carbon capture and storage (sometimes called carbon capture and sequestration, or CSS) is not only effective, but fast. Where previous ...
Scientists have figured out how to turn CO2 into solid rock within months

Two of the biggest problems with carbon capture have been its cost, and finding ways to efficiently store or repurpose the CO2 once it's been extracted. But now a new technique could drastically overhaul this method of mitigating climate change ...

How to capture carbon dioxide from a power plant and turn it into stone
Los Angeles Times
Deep in the solidified lava beneath Iceland, scientists have managed an unprecedented feat: They've taken carbon dioxide released by a power plant and turned it into rock at a rate much faster than laboratory tests predicted. The findings, described in ...

CarbFix turns a power plant's CO2 emissions into rock
Apparently, pumping carbon dioxide into volcanic basalts is a pretty effective carbon capture technique. Back in 2012, scientists began an experiment in Iceland called the CarbFix Project. Since then, they've been injecting tons of carbon dioxide waste ...

Researchers In Iceland Are Showing Us How to Fix Carbon Emissions
Outside Magazine
This process—turning earth-warming carbon dioxide into a solid instead of spewing it into the atmosphere—is at the heart of what's called carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. CCS involves pumping CO2 from power plants underground, ...

Climate change mitigation: Turning carbon dioxide into rock
Science Daily
One approach is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), where CO2 is physically removed from the atmosphere and trapped underground. Geoengineers have long explored the possibility of sealing CO2 gas in voids underground, such as in abandoned oil and ...

New process converts carbon emissions into rock
Science Recorder
This type of carbon conversion is known as 'carbon capture and storage' (CCS). Many officials are investigating the method as a way to try and mitigate ever-climbing carbon dioxide emissions around the world. In past experiments, researchers injected ...

Iceland turns carbon dioxide to stone
The need is great; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2014 that effective carbon capture and storage is crucial to the effort to temper global warming. Out in the steaming hills of western Iceland, the latest attempt has been to ...

Icelandic Experiment Reports A Climate Change Breakthrough, Turns Carbon Dioxide To Stone
International Business Times
The experiment, carried out as part of the increased emphasis to find efficient carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) techniques, successfully converted gaseous carbon dioxide to stable carbonate minerals such as calcite and magnesite. This was done ...

Scientists Turn CO2 Into Solid Rock
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a divisive issue in the climate and energy community, but the scientists are confident that solidifying the gas would prevent it from leaking back into the atmosphere, as is the danger with many CCS methods.

Scientists turn carbon dioxide to stone: a solution for global warming? (+video)
Christian Science Monitor
Nature can turn carbon dioxide into rock, but it takes thousands upon thousands of years. Scientists in Iceland may have just figured out how to do it in less than two. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) holds enormous potential to slow climate change ...

Researchers Turn CO2 Into Stone in Climate Change Breakthrough
Other carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods store CO2 as a gas, but problems include a high cost and concern about leakage. This new method of burying CO2 and turning it into stone is cheaper and more secure, the Guardian reports. To turn C02 to ...

Iceland Power Plant Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Solid Rock
Tech Times
One problem with capturing and storing carbon dioxide underground, for instance, is that this may possibly result in the emissions seeping back into the air or even exploding out. In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers described the ...

Carbon emissions turn to stone after two years underground
One way of tackling carbon emissions from dirty coal-fired power plants is carbon capture and storage, but amid high costs of capturing the carbon and safety concerns surrounding sequestration, it has gained little large-scale traction. And it's not ...

In Iceland, Researchers Turn Carbon Dioxide To Stone
Wyoming Public Media
In what could prove to be a major step forward for carbon capture and storage, a group of researchers in Iceland have discovered how to turn carbon dioxide emissions from a power plant into stone. Carbon capture and storage is considered an important ...

A Power Plant in Iceland Deals with Carbon Dioxide by Turning It into Rock
MIT Technology Review ‎
Lower costs aren't necessarily enough to spur energy companies to adopt carbon capture and storage technologies unless there is an additional economic incentive in place, like a carbon tax. Matter says that framework is missing. “Policy makers need to ...

How One Country Is Making Rocks Out of Air Pollution
National Geographic ‎
The research, detailed Thursday in the journal Science, is part of a larger quest to capture carbon at power plants and then store it underground. Solidifying the carbon could reduce the risk of it leaking out into the atmosphere, contributing to ...
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A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog - Geoingeniería by Oscar and Jocelyn Escobar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Licencia Creative Commons
A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog por Oscar y Jocelyn Escobar se distribuye bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional.