The UK government has granted £1 million ($1.26 million) to a team of Scottish scientists working with Carbfix that is exploring the feasibility of turning carbon into minerals through the utilization of basalt volcanic rock.
This carbon removal method, known as enhanced rock weathering, transforms captured carbon into minerals within basalt volcanic rock, sequestering it underground.
The scientists are working together with Iceland-based carbon mineralization company Carbfix to explore new ways of monitoring carbon captured from the biggest geothermal power plant in Iceland.
Dr. Stuart Gilfillan underscores the significance of this venture: “This project amalgamates Scotland’s advanced scientific infrastructure with the world’s premier CO2 mineralization initiative,” said Dr. Stuart Gilfillan from the University of Edinburgh, who leads the project. “It will open up crucial insights into the secure underground storage of CO2 in basalt formations while also expanding our understanding of basalt reactivity on a global scale.”
Professor Fin Stuart, the Director of Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), said the team aims to track the unique chemical characteristics of injected CO2 within the Carbfix facility. This analysis will enable them to monitor how CO2 evolves during its storage, helping them better understand the effectiveness of mineralization-based carbon storage. According to Stuart, this understanding will enhance trust in the potential for future carbon storage and simplifying involvement in CO2 credit initiatives.
Dr. Sandra Ósk Snæbjörnsdóttir, Head of CO2 Mineral Storage at Carbfix said the company “thrives on the synergy between academia and industry.” Collaborations with academic institutions allow Carbix to deepen its understanding of the natural processes that form the basis of their technology, augment their verification methods and drive forward their technical evolution.