Our story

Founding of CarbFix

The CarbFix Project was initiated in 2006 and formalized by four founding partners in 2007, Reykjavík Energy, the University of Iceland, CNRS in Toulouse and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Since then, several universities and research institutes have participated in the project under the scope of EU funded sub-projects, including Amphos 21, Climeworks and the University of Copenhagen.

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Preparation phase

During the first years of the project, the main focus of the project was to optimize the method through lab experiments, studies of natural analogues, and characterization of the CarbFix pilot injection site, often referred to as the CarbFix1 site, where the pilot injections took place. Design and construction of gas capture, injection and monitoring equipment was carried out simultaneously.

Pilot phase

Pilot injections were carried out in 2012 at the CarbFix pilot injection site, located 3 km SW of the Hellisheidi power plant in SW-Iceland. From January to March, 175 tonnes of pure CO2 were dissolved and injected at about 500 m depth at about 35°C, and from June to August, 73 tonnes of 75% CO2-25%H2S gas mixture from the Hellisheidi geothermal plant were injected under the same conditions. Results from the pilot phase were published in Science in 2016, which confirmed the rapid mineralisation of the injected CO2:

“We find that over 95% of the CO2 injected into the CarbFix site in Iceland was mineralized to carbonate minerals in less than two years. This result contrasts with the common view that the immobilization of CO2 as carbonate minerals within geologic reservoirs takes several hundreds to thousands of years.” (Matter et al., 2016)

Mineralisation of injected H2S were reported to occur even faster in .

“…, and essentially all of the injected H2S was mineralised within four months of its injection.” (Snæbjörnsdóttir et al., 2017)

Moving to industrial scale

Following the success of the pilot injections, the injection was scaled up to industrial scale at Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, with injection of 65% CO2-35%H2S gas mixture at about 800 m depth and about 230°C at the Husmuli injection site, located 1,5 km northeast of the power plant. The injection has been an integral part of the operation of the Hellisheidi Power Plant since June 2014. In 2016, the injection operations at the Hellisheidi Plant were scaled up again, doubling the amount of gases injected. The injection is ongoing today with the capacity of injecting about 10200 tonnes/year of CO2 and about 4900 tonnes/year H2S into the basaltic subsurface, for permanent mineral storage of the injected gases. This accounts to about 35% and 68% of CO2 and H2S emissions, respectively.

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