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Capturing Carbon in Rocks Gains Traction

Michael Coren explores a potentially solid idea for carbon sequestration - turning our greenhouse gas emissions into underground rock formations.
March 22, 2012, 8am PDT | Alesia Hsiao
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Aside from the growth of renewable energy technologies, there is another promising option to combat climate change being tested in pilot projects around the world. Iceland's new CarbFix project uses subterranean chemistry to transform carbon dioxide emissions into limestone rocks.

Coren writes, "CarbFix is injecting its CO2 emissions into volcanic basalt, where it (hopefully) leaches minerals from the surrounding volcanic basalt to form new rock." By doing so, it would allow for a larger storage capacity placed underground and less carbon in the air.

Although the science and technology are still being developed and perfected, its the cost that will likely determine the strategy's long-term success.

"CarbFix project's pilot project has spent $11 million to sequester its first 2,000 tons of CO2, even though researchers estimate the cost may fall to less than $10 per ton." Similar experiments in Australia and the U.S have been met with cost and technical challenges.

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Published on Monday, March 19, 2012 in Fast Coexist
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