What is CarbFix?

CarbFix is the industrial process to capture CO2 and other sour gases from emission sources and permanently store it as rock in the subsurface. The process can furthermore be applied in relation to direct capture of CO2 from air. In the current CarbFix2 project, supported by The European Union, we are demonstrating how this secure, cost-effective and environmentally benign method to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels can be applied world-wide, thus fighting climate change.

CarbFix has received support from the EU through the FP7 and H2020 research programmes, allowing for continuous and active collaboration between industry and academia. The current grant for CarbFix2 ensures the project's funding until 2021.

The CarbFix team, lead by Reykjavik Energy, has developed a secure, cost-effective and environmentally benign process and technology for permanent  CO2 mineral storage in the subsurface. The process was proven at the CarbFix pilot site, located 3 km southwest of Hellisheidi power plant in Iceland. There, the CarbFix team has demonstrated that over 95% of  CO2 captured and injected was turned into rock in the subsurface in less than two years. This contrasts the previous common view that mineral storage in CCS projects takes hundreds to thousands of years. Industrial scale sour gas capture and injection have been ongoing at Hellisheidi power plant since 2014, with injection ongoing at the Húsmúli injection site, located ca. 1,5 km northeast of the power plant. At the end of 2018, 66,000 tons of sour gases had been captured and injected at Hellisheidi, 2/3rd of which were CO2 and 1/3rd H2S. This counts for over 40% reduction in emissions from the power plant.

For more about the history of CarbFix, press here.

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Co-capturing two environmentally important gases in the same process allows for considerable cost-savings in the capture phase which typically dominates the overall cost of CCS. The cost of industrial scale CarbFix operations at Hellisheidi are $24.8/ton (Gunnarsson et al., 2018). That is significantly cheaper than other known methods for carbon or sulfur  capture and sequestration.

The CarbFix team is currently working on the following fronts, facilitating widespread, global application of the CarbFix method:

  • Linking the method to direct capture of CO2 from air, allowing for permanent removal of  CO2 already emitted to the atmosphere. This work is being done in collaboration with Climeworks under the EU funded CarbFix2 project.
  • Exporting the method to new injection sites in Iceland, Germany, Italy and Turkey under the scope of the EU funded GECO project. The field sites consist of varied geology; basalts, gneiss, sedimentary, and volcano-clastic/limestone.
  • Further developing the CarbFix method so that it can be used offshore for permanent mineral storage of  CO2 in the sub-seafloor.
  • Providing consultancy to businesses and industries wanting to apply the CarbFix process to reduce their emissions.