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EU grants of EUR 12.2m to help work on fixing carbon into stone in Iceland

Well heads at Hellisheidi power plant of Reykjavik Energy (source: flickr/thinkgeonergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 4 Dec 2017

EU grants of EUR 12.2 million have been granted for work of scientists in Iceland that is fixing carbon into stone below the surface under the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant in Iceland.

Reported already in September this year, Icelandic energy c0mpany Reykja­vik Energy, in colla­borati­on with the Uni­versity of Ice­land and for­eign science instituti­ons, has recei­ved two grants tota­lling EUR 12.2 milli­on ($14.3 million), from the Europe­an Uni­on to cont­inue to develop an approach to bind carbon dioxide to rock.

“This innovative project began in 2007 and has already led to a significant reducti­on in CO2 em­issi­ons from the Hell­is­heidi geothermal power plant. Nine PhD stu­dents have devoted their papers on car­bon “bonding” to basalt stone and work on rese­arch in Iceland and other places. Fut­ure develop­ments inclu­de the develop­ment of car­bon di­ox­i­de bind­ing on the sea­bed. “This is also ref­lected in the announcement.

The research on the CarbFix project is led by Dr. Edda Sif Pind Ara­dótt­ir.

Since 2007, scient­ists, in colla­borati­on with the industrial and technical staff of Orku­veita Reykja­vík­ur and the su­bsidi­aries, ON Power and Veita, have wor­ked on the develop­ment and test­ing of the idea that car­bon di­ox­i­de that comes up with the geot­hermal fluid could be mixed with water and be pumped down again. Th­ere it is per­man­ently bound in the form of stone. This succeeded. The same met­hod is now used to cle­an the sulf­ur hydrogen from the exhaust, and is now about 60% bound up as pell­ets in the basalt shell layer deep in the ground near the power plant. Car­bFix is the name of the orig­inal develop­ment proj­ect with car­bon di­ox­i­de. SulFix is named as a sulf­ur proj­ect, and one name is cal­led the gas in the rock.

Because the met­hods developed to bind the geot­hermal fluid into the basalt layers are watery and that a high basalt layer layer is found on the sea­bed, scient­ists in the proj­ect are cur­rently focus­ing on the bind­ing of car­bon di­ox­i­de to the sea­bed. This is also stated in a notice.

The car­bon di­ox­i­de proj­ect, cal­led Car­bFix, has caused global warm­ing in recent months, an article pu­blis­hed in Science, the world’s most prestigi­ous science magaz­ine, in the last year.

Source: Mbl