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Iceland’s Breakthrough to Tackling Climate Change: Turning CO2 into Stone - 10th June

iceland

Iceland has discovered a way to tackle climate change by burying CO2 into the ground and turning it into stone. This radical new discovery of carbon capture and storage should reduce rising CO2 emissions that cause climate change.

The new research pumped CO2 into volcanic rock under Iceland causing basalts to react with the gas to form carbonate minerals, which make limestone. This unique process only takes two years for the gas to solidify into stone compared to the time scale of hundreds or even thousands of years that had been predicted. Iceland’s research has already been increased in scale to bury 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Juerg Matter (Head researcher at the University of Southampton) stated “We need to deal with rising carbon emissions and this is the ultimate permanent storage- turn them back to stone”

Although this breakthrough seems a simple solution to reducing carbon emissions, there is argument suggesting that the CO2 will only be delayed in its release. There is also the issue of how much water is needed to complete the process, approximately 25 tonnes for each tonne of CO2 buried. Although some professionals say sea water can be used, there is an issue that subterranean microbes might break down carbonate to methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

This breakthrough despite the uncertainties could prove significant in the battle to tackle climate change. 

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