With the Paris Climate Agreement coming into force on Nov. 4, reducing carbon emissions has become a matter of high priority for most nations. The process requires, among others, capturing and storing carbon. Many projects across the world are working on it.
In this connection, the Marrakech Summit in Morocco, from Nov. 7 to Nov. 18 needs special mention. The summit, attended by leaders of nearly 200 nations brain stormed over the means of implementing the Paris agreement for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
At Marrakech, the deal to reduce carbon emissions was hailed by the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who said, "What was once unthinkable has become unstoppable," referring to the speed in which more than 100 countries ratified the Paris agreement.
According to experts, capturing and storing carbon dioxide will remain the key to the Paris treaty enforcement as a way to achieving the emission targets. The objective is to block the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Significant Project In Iceland
Here comes the news of an inspirational project in Iceland that seeks storage of carbon dioxide in nongaseous forms.
Published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the project talks about carbon dioxide (CO2) being injected into basalt and how it was transformed into solid rock in a span of two years.
Lab studies showed that Basalt rocks — formed from lava millions of years ago can easily convert CO2 into carbonate minerals. In fact, the project in Iceland reinforced that CO2 can be converted into solid form as a way of stopping it from merging with the atmosphere.
The pilot project started in 2009 and was undertaken by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in association with Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership in Montana. In 2013, the project injected 1,000 tons of pressurized liquid CO2 into a basalt formation.
They drilled a well in the Columbia River Basalt formation for that purpose. Two years later, lead researcher Pete McGrail and the team confirmed the CO2 had been converted to ankerite, a carbonate mineral.
The study revealed that basalt formations could help in permanently storing carbon dioxide on a larger scale.
Climate Concerns And The U.S.
Meanwhile, amid concerns that the U.S. may dilute its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement coinciding with Donald Trump's election as president, 365 U.S. businesses and investors wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, President-Elect Donald Trump and Congress urging to continue their support for the Paris Agreement to create a low-carbon regime.
"It is not going to be governments alone, or even principally, that solve the climate challenge," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the conference.