Scientists to measure CO2 storage in volcanic rock

A group of scientists have got down to develop new methods to measure the seize of carbon dioxide in volcanic rock.

The carbon storage approach generally known as mineralisation has been used efficiently in Iceland, the place the reactivity of the basalt volcanic rock converts the carbon dioxide quickly into new minerals, safely locking it away underground.

Carbon seize and storage is turning into more and more essential in efforts to scale back the degrees of greenhouse gases comparable to carbon dioxide within the environment, the place they’re the principal contributor to world warming.

The scientists will work with Icelandic mineralisation operator Carbfix to check new strategies to trace the carbon dioxide being captured at Hellisheidi, Iceland’s largest geothermal energy plant, and confirm its protected and everlasting storage.

Stuart Gilfillan, of the University of Edinburgh, and his group will use mineral evaluation strategies and a novel CO2 fingerprinting device at the moment being patented by Edinburgh Innovations, the college’s commercialisation service.

The Inclusion challenge, in collaboration with Carbfix and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), has been awarded £1 million of funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’s Pushing the Frontiers scheme.

Dr Gilfillan stated: “This project will combine the state-of-the-art scientific laboratory facilities available in Scotland with the world’s leading CO2 mineralisation project to provide essential understanding of how to safely lock away CO2 underground in basalts.

“We will also develop our understanding of the reactivity of basalt and other volcanic rock, to understand the potential of mineralisation in other parts of the world, such as Scotland.”

Professor Fin Stuart, director of SUERC, stated: “We will determine the unique chemical fingerprint of the injected CO2 at Carbfix, and record how that changes during the storage process.

“This will enable us to determine how, and how much, CO2 is stored and provide confidence in the amount of CO2 that can be stored by mineralisation in the future, which can also aid participation in carbon credit schemes.”

Dr Sandra Osk Snaebjornsdottir, head of CO2 mineral storage at Carbfix, stated: “Partnerships with prestigious research institutes such as the University of Edinburgh helps us to increase our understanding of the natural processes we build our technology on, add to our existing verification methods, and move forward the technical development.

“Furthermore, it gives new perspectives, and trains the next generation of experts in the field. We are honoured to collaborate with this world-leading team of scientists, and excited for the outcome.”

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