Carbfix tests using seawater to mineralize CO2 at Helguvík, Iceland
Carbfix is set to inject seawater-dissolved CO2 into underground rock formations for long term CO2 mineral storage. The injection well used for this purpose will be at Helguvík in Reykjanesbær, Iceland.
The project, called CO2SeaStone, is a collaboration between Carbfix and ETH Zurich, the University of Iceland, Iceland GeoSurvey, the universities of Geneva and Lausanne, and University College of London.
It is part of a pilot project led by ETH Zurich, called DemoUpCARMA, which focuses on the demonstration and upscaling of carbon capture, utilization, transport, and storage technologies to generate negative emissions, or to avoid CO2 emissions from hard-to-abate sectors (e.g. cement manufacturing, waste-to-energy plants and chemical plants).
One of the pathways DemoUpCARMA is exploring is to capture carbon dioxide from industry in Switzerland, transport it to Rotterdam, and from there onwards to Iceland where it will be dissolved in seawater when being injected underground for mineralization in rock formations using the Carbfix method. The first shipment containing 20 tons of CO2 from Switzerland recently arrived in Iceland, the first of a total of 1.000 tons to be mineralized as part of this one-year pilot project.
The project is backed by funding from Eurostars, the Icelandic Centre for Research, and the Swiss Federal Offices of Energy and for the Environment. The municipality of Reykjanesbær participates by providing access to the injection site at Helguvík, and Samskip supports it by providing transport.
Enables a wider application of the Carbfix method
The Carbfix technology requires substantial amounts of water to dissolve CO2 and inject into basaltic rocks. The use of seawater instead of fresh water is important in water scarce regions and expands the applicability to more regions around the globe, both coastal and offshore areas.
Using laboratory tests, the University of Iceland and Carbfix have already shown that seawater can be used to apply the Carbfix technology. Now this will be tested in the field for the first time. The injection well is scheduled to be ready in the fall and test injections will commence thereafter.
Among Carbfix’s most important research projects
“CO2SeaStone is one of the most important R&D projects Carbfix is currently involved in. Although our technology can be widely applied around the world, using seawater instead of freshwater would significantly increase its potential. We have numerous outstanding collaborators on this project, and we are grateful to the municipality of Reykjanesbær for providing access to the site at Helguvík and Samskip for facilitating transport,” says Edda Aradóttir, CEO of Carbfix.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to participate in such an ambitious and important project, that supports further development at Carbfix. Carbon storage is among the measures we must take to fight climate change and will help to achieve Iceland’s goal of carbon neutrality. We at the municipality of Reykjanesbær have big ambitions when it comes to the climate and will continue to make decisive contributions towards the cause of carbon neutrality the coming years and decades,” says Kjartan Már Kjartansson, mayor of Reykjanesbær.
“We are extremely pleased with the opportunity to support CO2SeaStone, and the project perfectly fits Samskip’s environmental and sustainability goals. We have taken decisive measures to minimize the environmental impact of our operations and supported a variety of projects aimed at reducing emissions and protecting the environment,” says Thórunn Inga Ingjaldsdóttir, head of marketing and communications at Samskip.
Carbfix has for ten years, since 2012, captured CO2 from the geothermal power plant at Hellisheiði, Iceland, dissolved it in freshwater and injected into the underground basaltic bedrock, where it turns into stone in less than two years. The Carbfix technology to mineralize CO2 permanently and safely has garnered world-wide interest. Earlier this summer it was announced that Carbfix’s Coda Terminal project, to build a CO2 storage and mineralization hub at Straumsvík, Iceland, was one of 17 projects selected to receive a total of 1.8 billion Euros in grants from the European Innovation Fund.
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