Iceland Is Sucking CO2 From The Air And Turning It Into Rock

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Iceland Is Sucking CO2 From The Air And Turning It Into Rock

A radical solution to climate change is currently being constructed in the nation of Iceland. Climeworks, a Swiss firm, and Carbfix, a unit of Reykjavik Energy, are currently installing huge extraction fans into a hillside in southwest Iceland that will, when fully operational, literally suck carbon dioxide CO2 out of the air and turn it into rocks that can be used in the building industry.

The unique carbon-capture set-up works with massive fans sucking air into 8 tunnels, each about the size of a shipping container. The carbon is then mixed with water, creating a mild acid, which is then pumped 800 to 2,000 kms below ground into basaltic rock. Over the period of about 24 months that solution turns into rock, which can then be sold on and used for construction.

It is estimated that this carbon-capture model will be able to remove 4,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide from the air annually. CO2 is one of the key drivers of climate-change and global-warming as it traps the heat from the Sun in the Earth's atmosphere.

The firms involved in the Icelandic project are not the only ones now using direct-air capture (DAC) to fight the climate emergency. Carbon Engineering, based in Canada, says it is currently working on a similar project that will extract a huge amount of carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere. They claim that their project will have the carbon-capture capabilities of 40 million trees when fully operational.

While many are praising these new projects, others, including leading scientists and researchers, have reservations, primarily due to the cost. They claim that climate change can only truly be beaten by planting far more trees and releasing less carbon-dioxide in the first place. Indeed, this is why many governments and companies are investing in green-energy production, tree planting, and electric vehicles.

Jan Wurzbacher, co-founder of Climeworks, accepted that these were essential but that utilising carbon-capture was also very important. He said:

"We should plant as many forests as we can and protect as many as we can. But we are beyond the 'either/or'."

Climeworks technology has already been bought up by some of the world's biggest companies. Both Stripe and Microsoft have already hired the company to extract carbon on their behalf as they seek to create businesses that are carbon-neutral, and therefore not contributing to the climate crisis.

Among those most interest in carbon-capture is Tesla and SpaceX founder, and currently the richest man in the world, Elon Musk. In January, the tech billionaire said that he would soon give away $100 million to the individual or company that created the most efficient and viable carbon-capture technology.

[h/t: Global Citizen]

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Thinking Humanity: Iceland Is Sucking CO2 From The Air And Turning It Into Rock
Iceland Is Sucking CO2 From The Air And Turning It Into Rock
A radical solution to climate change is currently being constructed in the nation of Iceland. Climeworks, a Swiss firm, and Carbfix, a unit of Reykjav
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