The Tech Startups Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Stone

Andrew H. Sweet
Carbon Dioxide into stone

Innovative tech firms in Iceland have turned on an experiment designed to see if they can capture carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the air and permanently store it deep underground in porous rocks, trapping the greenhouse gas forever, instead of allowing it to escape into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

Switzerland's Climeworks' "Carbon Removal" method uses fans to draw air in so CO₂ can be collected by filters. When full, the filters are heated to 100°C, releasing the CO₂, then piped to an injection site.

The gas is then mixed with water and injected into basalt deep underground (a porous rock filled with cavities). The carbonated water reacts with elements such as calcium, magnesium, and iron to form carbonates that fill up the hollow pockets – providing a permanent and safe carbon sink in less than two years.

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