Scientists have been working together to reduce carbon emissions on a global scale and are looking for solutions to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2). Now, a team of researchers have successfully turned CO2 into solid rock in just two years, offering a solution for the abundance of carbon in the atmosphere.
By Susmita Baral | MOTHERBOARD
Published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the study spotlights the results of a field project in eastern Washington where researchers injected pressurized liquid CO2 into a basalt formation. Basalt is a fine-grained volcanic rock that formed from lava millions of years ago and has previously been found in lab studies to turn CO2 into carbonate minerals.
Carbon dioxide is the most abundant greenhouse gas—a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change—in the Earth’s atmosphere. While CO2 naturally exists in the air, human activity has massively elevated its concentration. Currently, atmospheric CO2 is at the highest it has been in the past 400,000 years at about 0.04%, or 400 parts per million by volume (ppm).