CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


CO2 Emissions rock-fr-antunes

Published on November 10th, 2008 | by Andrew Williams

15

Scientists Discover Rock That Can Absorb Carbon Dioxide Emissions Directly From the Air

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

November 10th, 2008 by
 

[social_buttons]

Scientists at Columbia University have discovered that a rock found in the Middle East can be used to soak up carbon dioxide at a rate high enough to significantly slow global warming.

The team found that when the rock, known as Peridotite, comes into contact with carbon dioxide it converts the gas into harmless minerals such as calcite. They have also worked out a way to ‘supercharge’ the naturally occurring process to a million times its normal speed to grow enough of the mineral to permanently store 2 billion or more tons of carbon dioxide annually. This equates to an astonishing 7 per cent of the total global carbon emissions from human activity each year.

Peridotite is found mostly in the gulf state of Oman, and is also the most commonly occurring rock in the Earth’s mantle. For now, the team, based at the University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, calculate that it would be too expensive to mine the rock and transport it to greenhouse gas emitting plants in heavily polluting countries such as the US, China and India.

However, since Oman is conveniently located near to a major oil-producing region, rocks found on the surface could still be used to work their magic. According to the team’s co-leader, geochemist Juerg Matter, “To be near all that oil and gas infrastructure is not a bad thing.”

At this stage, although the team have filed a preliminary patent for their process to kick-start the carbon storage process of peridotite, which involves drilling down and injecting the rock with heated water containing pressurised CO2, they say that more research is needed before the technology can be used on a commericial scale. If you’re interested in more information, team’s study will appear in the November 11 edition of the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

Image Credit – Fr Antunes via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.



  • Alberto Zeledon

    Several years have passed since this article came out….I scientists have not gone any further with this theory, huh?
    Well, anyway, dumping extra stuff in our oceans sounds a bit rsky, what if the process backfires and we find ourselves with an unknown problem as a result?
    That scares the crap out of me !!!!
    I once folowed an experiment in which giant hoses where put in the ocean to extract plaktom from the deep and bring it to the surface. These planktom were being pumpped by the “motion of the ocean”. Although it sounded like a good idea, it created some off-balance of the natural environment…many things changed.
    Now how many people in China, Japan or any other “Super Fishing” country you know that are going to follow new regulations?…They don’t care !!! they figure The’ll be dead by the time the over-fishing has a drastic effect in our “spaceship” (like John called it) I believe the only way is through education, and hopefully future generations will recognize the urgency and do something about it

  • John Winter

    Have we not yet learned that all actions have reactions? Those algal blooms kill or drive away many pelagic fishes, thus opening the door for a jellyfish explosion, due to an increase in their food source. The oceans are already in danger of becoming jellyfish predominant as a result of overfishing the small fish such as sardines that eat the juveniles.

    We have no clue as to the long range effects of dumping gigatons of iron into the ocean, however, I do know what David Brower said about these situations in general….”In games of environmental brinksmanship, the best step to take is backwards.”

    The best way to cure the oceans is to QUIT putting sh*t in it in the first place, establish fishing quotas that will create sustainable populations, and start treating our spaceship as if it were essential to our survival…..it is, you know!

  • John Winter

    Have we not yet learned that all actions have reactions? Those algal blooms kill or drive away many pelagic fishes, thus opening the door for a jellyfish explosion, due to an increase in their food source. The oceans are already in danger of becoming jellyfish predominant as a result of overfishing the small fish such as sardines that eat the juveniles.

    We have no clue as to the long range effects of dumping gigatons of iron into the ocean, however, I do know what David Brower said about these situations in general….”In games of environmental brinksmanship, the best step to take is backwards.”

    The best way to cure the oceans is to QUIT putting sh*t in it in the first place, establish fishing quotas that will create sustainable populations, and start treating our spaceship as if it were essential to our survival…..it is, you know!

  • Binoranjan Oinam

    If it can process in a better way to control CO2 Emission into the Atmosphere, it’ll help to decrease some sort of Global Warming, as presently, Fossil Fuel burning is producing 5-6 Gigatons of CO2 anually into the Atmosphere…

  • Binoranjan Oinam

    If it can process in a better way to control CO2 Emission into the Atmosphere, it’ll help to decrease some sort of Global Warming, as presently, Fossil Fuel burning is producing 5-6 Gigatons of CO2 anually into the Atmosphere…

  • Daniel Cvar

    Periodotite is also predominent in a metamophosed

    mineral called serpintinite which is the California state rock, found in fault zones aroud the pacific rim.

    Serpentinite is associated with asbestos.

    I wonder if non gem grade periodotite can be found and adinistered in a powderized form into CO2 rich ocean waters and what byproduct chemical effcts would be present?

  • Daniel Cvar

    Periodotite is also predominent in a metamophosed

    mineral called serpintinite which is the California state rock, found in fault zones aroud the pacific rim.

    Serpentinite is associated with asbestos.

    I wonder if non gem grade periodotite can be found and adinistered in a powderized form into CO2 rich ocean waters and what byproduct chemical effcts would be present?

  • http://www.lisi.com Elise Lesborne

    Also, please email me about any other websites or resources that has to do with ‘Global Change.’

    Best,

    Elise Lesborne

    elesborne@stanford.edu

  • http://www.lisi.com Elise Lesborne

    Also, please email me about any other websites or resources that has to do with ‘Global Change.’

    Best,

    Elise Lesborne

    elesborne@stanford.edu

  • http://www.lisi.com Elise Lesborne

    Thank you, so much! As a Ph.D student at Stanford, I was so glad to find this article! This will definitely help me on my research for “Global Change.”

    Thanks!

    Best Regards,

    Elise Lesborne

    elesborne@stanford.edu

  • http://www.lisi.com Elise Lesborne

    Thank you, so much! As a Ph.D student at Stanford, I was so glad to find this article! This will definitely help me on my research for “Global Change.”

    Thanks!

    Best Regards,

    Elise Lesborne

    elesborne@stanford.edu

  • http://www.myspace.com/enki09 Mike Johnston

    Um…this reaction is pretty well known. Calcite is calcium carbonate (lime,limestone, marble). If you mix it with water you get calcium bicarbonate. Other scientists are currently working to do the same thing with the lime in eggshells. I guess the story is the supercharging of the process?

  • http://www.myspace.com/enki09 Mike Johnston

    Um…this reaction is pretty well known. Calcite is calcium carbonate (lime,limestone, marble). If you mix it with water you get calcium bicarbonate. Other scientists are currently working to do the same thing with the lime in eggshells. I guess the story is the supercharging of the process?

  • Ajay

    Since when did India become a major pollution contributor?

  • Ajay

    Since when did India become a major pollution contributor?

Back to Top ↑