Scientists in Iceland have managed to turn carbon dioxide emissions to rock, which would make true carbon capture a possibility.
Scientists working at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant near Reykjavik, Iceland, were able to pump the plant’s carbon dioxide-rich volcanic gases into deep underground basalt formations, mix them with water and chemically solidify the carbon dioxide.When basalt — a volcanic rock that makes up roughly 70 percent of the earth’s surface — is exposed to carbon dioxide and water, a chemical reaction occurs, converting the gas to a chalk-like solid material. Scientists previously thought it wasn’t possible to capture and store carbon this way because earlier studies suggested it could take thousands of years for large amounts of carbon dioxide to be converted to chalk.
Of course, the proper answer is to stop using processes that create carbon dioxide, and move over to renewables. Announcements such as this are likely to be taken up by the pollution industry as a reason for them to keep on dsestroying the planet, on the promise that a technology may come along to undo all their damage. This could be useful in many ways, but this isn’t the silver bullet that’s going to save the world by itself.
The final paragraphs conjure up some interesting visions of geoengineering projects- sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere to bring the balance back down to non climate change levels. It’s the sort of thing I imagined happening in the backstory to the Mongrels series, as the AIs bring the planet back from climate catastrophe to some sort of stability.