International experts in the field of geophysics see Iceland as a leader in binding carbon dioxide in basalt, an industry that might grow to the size of the oil industry in the future. Binding of CO2 at Hellisheidi Power Plant is expected to start early next year, mbl.is reports.
Icelandic Power Plant. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The project has been ongoing since 2007, in collaboration with the Reykjavik Power Company, The University of Iceland, and two foreign universities. The method consists of fossilizing CO2 gases down in the ground, thus preventing the CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
“Research here will indicate how this will go everywhere else,” explained Eric H. Oelker, president of the European Geochemistry Union. “Icelanders possess an enormous amount of expertise through all the work that has been done in geothermal areas. This knowledge is the future of this industry.”
Oelker predicts that the industry will be as important in the future as the oil industry. “Hopefully Icelandic experts will lead the way in getting this method across the world.”
According to Sigurdur Reynir Gíslason, geochemist and project manager, they hope that this method will allow Iceland to balance its carbon emission. “This method could for example be at Helguvík aluminum factory once further developed. If aluminum factories will have to pay for their carbon emissions in the future, they will have an incentive to invest in diverting it down to the ground.”