Scientists have come with a smart but simple way to deal carbon dioxide emissions, turning them into stone. Researchers Iceland pumped 220 tons CO2 deep underground into volcanic rock. It reacted minerals in the rock and a relatively short space of time, transformed a chalk-like solid substance similar to limestone. The team expressed their surprise both the success and the speed of the CO2 conversion. Lead scientist Juerg Matter said: "Of our 220 tons injected CO2, 95 per cent was converted to limestone less than two years." He added: "It was a huge surprise to all the scientists involved the project, and we thought, 'Wow! This is really fast'."
The scientists hope their experiment will be adapted a larger, more industrial scale. It could help to alleviate the problem growing CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere and warming the planet. It could also become a key technique carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions. Many other CCS techniques have involved injecting and trapping CO2 underground. However, there was always the problem the emissions leaking their way back ground and into the atmosphere. Dr Matter was enthusiastic his team's experiments. He said: "We need to deal rising carbon emissions and this is the ultimate permanent storage – turn them back stone."