New paper on the CarbFix project was published in Nature Communications today, titled "High reactivity of deep biota under anthropogenic CO2 injection into basalt". The paper is led by Rosalia Trias at Institut De Physique Du Globe in Paris, and describes the early response of the deep biota during the CarbFix1 CO2-injections at Hellisheiði, at about 500 m depth and 20-50°C.
Following is the abstract of the paper:
Basalts are recognized as one of the major habitats on Earth, harboring diverse and active microbial populations. Inconsistently, this living component is rarely considered in engineering operations carried out in these environments. This includes carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that seek to offset anthropogenic CO2-emissions into the atmosphere by burying this greenhouse gas in the subsurface. Here, we show that deep ecosystems respond quickly to field operations associated with CO2 injections based on a microbiological survey of a basaltic CCS site. Acidic CO2-charged groundwater results in a marked decrease (by ~ 2.5–4) in microbial richness despite observable blooms of lithoau-totrophic iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria and degraders of aromatic compounds, which hence impact the aquifer redox state and the carbon fate. Host-basalt dissolution releases nutrients and energy sources, which sustain the growth of autotrophic and heterotrophic species whose activities may have consequences on mineral storage
The paper can be accessed here.