Turning CO2 into stone in Iceland
One geothermal power plant in Iceland is taking its green credentials to new levels.
One hundred percent of Iceland’s electricity needs are generated from renewable sources, including geothermal energy.
With the aim of cutting emissions even further, a unique carbon capture system called CarbFix is being pioneered at the Hellsheidi geothermal power plant in western Iceland.
Carbon dioxide emissions are captured, mixed with water and injected into the ground. Through this process, the CO2 is transformed into a mineral called calcite within just six months. This solid form of CO2 storage is seen as one of the most effective ways of preventing the gas from entering the atmosphere.
“We want to do our part in trying to solve this problem of the increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere,” says Ingvi Gunnarsson, a geochemist at CarbFix. “What comes from the power plant once we’ve produced electricity is hot water and gas. We need to dispose of that somehow. If we would not be capturing it, it would be released into the atmosphere.”
Russell Beard heads to Iceland to find out how CarbFix works.