Science will publish a paper tomorrow from the CarbFix team that demonstrates that it is possible to permanently store carbon dioxide as minerals in basaltic rocks and that over 95% of CO2 injected is mineralized within two years, instead of centuries or millennia as previously thought.
The paper's abstract states:
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) provides a solution towards 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 two 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.
CarbFix is a collaborative project between Reykjavik Energy, the University of Iceland, CNRS in Toulouse and Columbia University. Juerg Matter is the lead author of the paper. Other contributing authors are Martin Stute, Sandra Ó. Snæbjörnsdottir, Eric H. Oelkers, Sigurdur R. Gislason, Edda S. Aradottir, Bergur Sigfusson, Ingvi Gunnarsson, Holmfridur Sigurdardottir, Einar Gunnlaugsson, Gudni Axelsson, Helgi A. Alfredsson, Domenik Wolff-Boenisch, Kiflom Mesfin, Diana Fernandez de la Reguera Taya, Jennifer Hall, Knud Dideriksen and Wallace S. Broecker.