Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nature Imitated in Permanent CO2 Storage Project

01.10.2007
Icelandic, American, and French scientists launched today a project aimed at storing CO2 in Iceland´s lavas by injecting the green-house gas into basaltic bedrock where literally turns to stone.

Carbon dioxide turning into calcite is a well known natural process in volcanic areas and now the scientists of the University of Iceland, Columbia University and the CNRS in Toulouse are developing methods to imitate and speed up this transformation of the gas that is the prevalent contributor to global warming. The project´s implications for the fight against global warming are considerable, since basaltic bedrock susceptive of CO2 injections are widely found on the planet.

Reykjavik Energy, a global leader in geothermal energy, is the main sponsor of the project. The company´s facilities at the Hengill geothermal area, where a 300MW geothermal power plant is under construction, are an ideal site for the multinational scientific project.

Present when contracts on scientific and financial aspects of the project were signed, were Iceland´s President, Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, and Minister for the Environment, Thorunn Sveinbjarnardottir. Appropriately, both officials had just arrived from New York, where they attended the UN Secretary General´s summit on climate change.

Injecting CO2 at carefully selected geological sites with large potential storage capacity can be a long lasting and environmentally benign storage solution. To date CO2 is stored as gas in association with major gas production facilities such as Sleipner in the North Sea operated by Statoil and In Salah in Algeria operated by Sonatrack, BP and Statoil. The uniqueness of the Icelandic project is that whereas these other projects store CO2 mainly in a gas form, where it could potentially leak back into the atmosphere, the current project seeks to store CO2 by creating calcite in the subsurface. Calcite, a major component of limestone, is a common and stable mineral in the Earth is known to persist for tens of millions of years or more.

The research will be a combined program consisting of field scale injection of CO2 at Hellisheidi, laboratory based experiments, large scale plug-flow experiments, study of natural CO2 waters as natural analogue and state of the art geochemical modeling.

Why basalt and why Iceland?

Basaltic rocks are one of the most reactive rock types of the Earth´s crust. Basaltic rocks contain reactive minerals and glasses with high potential for CO2 sequestration. Basaltic rocks are common on the Earth´s surface, for example the continental flood basalts of Siberia, Deccan plateau of western India, Columbia River basalt in north-western United States, volcanic islands like Hawaii and Iceland and the oceanic ridges. More than 90% of Iceland is made of basalt.

Project consortium

The consortium was launched by Sigurdur Gislason of University of Iceland, Einar Gunnlaugsson of Reykjavik Energy, Eric Oelkers of the CNRS in Toulouse and Wally Broecker of Columbia University in N.Y. with the combined goal of creating solutions for the global CO2 problem and creating the human capital to address these problems in the future. Reykjavik Energy, one of the world´s leading companies in harnessing geothermal energy, will provide the infrastructure of its geothermal fields at Hellisheidi, and create a natural laboratory for the research. The area has been extensively studied.

The research will be lead by an international group of expert scientists including Juerg Matter and Domenik Wolff-Boenisch and consist of a combined program consisting of field scale injection of CO2 at Hellisheidi, laboratory based experiments, large scale plug-flow experiments, study of natural CO2 waters as natural analogue and state of the art geochemical modeling. The goal is to generate innovative solutions to safe permanent CO2 storage that can be used throughout the world.

Natural processes

The process, where CO2 is released from solidifying magma, reacts with calcium from the basalt and forms calcite, occurs naturally and the mineral is stable for thousands of years in geothermal systems. (Figure 1). Chemical weathering of basalts at the surface of the Earth is another example of carbon fixation in nature. The proposed experiment will aim at accelerating these natural processes.

The project at Hellisheidi

A mixture of water and steam is harnessed from 2000 m deep wells at Hellisheidi geothermal power plant. The steam contains geothermal gases, i.e. CO2. It is planned to dissolve the CO2 from the plant in water at elevated pressure and then inject it through wells down to 400-800 m, just outside the boundary of the geothermal system.

Contact:
Holmfridur Sigurdardottir
Project manager
Holmfridur.Sigurdardottir@or.is
+ 354 516 6000

| Hugin directnews
Further information:
http://www.or.is
http://hugin.info/138185/R/1156978/223423.pdf

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers take next step toward fusion energy
16.11.2017 | Texas A&M University

nachricht Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
16.11.2017 | SolarPACES

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>