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.
“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
“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
"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."