Often it turns out that nature is way ahead of us. Scientists at Columbia University discovered that a type of rock found in Oman, New Guinea, California and other places is able to capture vast quantities of CO2.
Peridotite rocks produce calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate (both solids) when they come in contact with CO2. Researchers discovered that these rocks in the Omani desert naturally absorb 10,000 to 100,000 tons of CO2 a year.
While taking rocks to the CO2 would be expensive, CO2 could be brought to these rocks. Scientists believe that they could bore into the ground and inject water containing CO2. The CO2 would immediately produce calcium and magnesium carbonate and be permanently stored in the rock.
Successful tests have already been completed and the scientists want to try it on a larger scale. This type of CO2 capture seems more feasible and safer than many other options and it harnesses an already-occurring, natural process.
Image via Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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